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1/St ^i^C^ C.20 ^'^'^^ 


OC i 3 1 190S 

l^arbarH College l^ibrars 

IW- OrrOufvHUvlxJ^^ 



The University of 9{prth Carolina ^blications 

James Sprunt Historical Monograplis 

NO. 1 

Personnel of the Convention of 1861 



Legislation of the Convention of 1861 




H J I 9o S. jio 

The UniversHy P^ss 

^a«<£ Ac 

77 rfsftsf of fKpHk CamUua 


James Sprunt Hisloiical Monogiaphs 

Personnel of the Convenii- 186I 


legislation of the Convention of 1861 



By the generosity of Mr, James Sprunt, of Wilmington, the 
University is enabled to begin a work, which, we are confi- 
dent will be much appreciated by the enlightened people of 
the State. This is the periodical publication of monographs 
designed to elucidate the history of North Carolina. 

The University has in its possession much documentary ma- 
terial of a private and public nature, which has never been 
published. The North Carolina Historical Society has like- 
wise a good supply, interesting and valuable, which has not 
seen the light of day. Efforts will be made to secure additions 
from the fortunate possessors of similar stores. It is confi- 
dently expected that the officers, students, alumni and 
friends of the University will be able to make contributions 
to our knowledge of the past, which students of our State his- 
tory will be glad to read and to preserve. 

The University has not heretofore by any means totally neg- 
lected such pious labors. The editors of the ante-bellum Unu 
versity Magazine published much historical matter, which stu- 
dents of history all over the Union are eager to secure, now 
that the numbers have become extremely rare. The editors 
of its continuation since the re-opening in 1872 have likewise 
included in its pages many sketches of the lives of our prom- 
inent citizens, and many narratives of past events, which, if 
collected together, would surprise the reading public by their 
variety and interest. The James Sprunt series will be in a 
more compact and convenient shape, and will, it is hoped, be 
correspondingly prized. 

This first number is composed of sketches of the dele- 


gates of the Convention of 1861, which, called to inaugurate a 
life and death struggle, contained more of the leading men of 
the State than any representative body ever held in its limits. 
It is the work, while a student, of one of our recent gradu- 
ates, Mr. John Gilchrist McCormick, and reflects credit on his 
tireless industry and his accuracy. In addition to the facts of 
the lives of the members, is a succinct history, both of the 
legislation accomplished and of the propositions defeated, 
prepared by one of the delegates from the county of Wake, 
Dr. Kemp P. Battle. 

Kemp p. Battle. 


The Conventioti of 1861 contained among its delegates very 
many of the ablest and most distinguished men of the State. 
Their action in voting, with the concurrence of their constitu- 
ents, to sever the bonds connecting North Carolina with the 
government of the United States, plunged the people into the 
most disastrous civil war of modern times, which resulted in 
vast destruction of her men and her wealth, in a signal 
change of her institutions, and a new direction to her civili- 
zation. Few of the members are now surviving. The names 
of most are about to sink into oblivion. Before it becomes 
impossible to collect the facts of their lives it seems to be a 
worthy enterprise to rescue them from oblivion and record them 
for permanent preservation. While accomplishing this pious 
task, it is thought to be best to add a brief statement of the 
work of the Convention, which, having no restriction on its 
powers as representing the people of the State, not only 
made changes in the constitution, but, to a considerable ex- 
tent, engaged in ordinary legislation. 

It has been said that our people are slow to move, and 
others less deliberate and more rash have not hesitated to 
disparage North Carolina's conservatism. When the nation 
trembled on the verge of the great internal conflict. North Caro- 
lina, disapproving all hot-headed measures, hesitated, pre- 
ferring if possible, the peaceful maintenance of the Union, 
As a natural consequence, when in December 1860, pressure 
was exerted upon the General Assembly to induce them to 
call a convention of the people, there was much opposition 
not only among the members of the legislature, but also 
among the people throughout the State, and the measure 
suffered defeat. A compromise bill finally passed, providing 
for the election of delegates on the 28th of February, 1861, 


and at the same time for a vote on the question of *' Conven- 
tion" and "No Convention," and the delegates were to as- 
semble, provided a majority of the votes should so authorise. 
The convention was voted down by a small majority. It was 
evident that North Carolina wished to wait for some overt act 
before withdrawing.* 

When war was inevitable, and it was apparent that the 
sole question would be one of alignment, Governor Ellis' re- 
ply to President Lincoln's call for troops ending with the 
words, ** You can get no troops from North Carolina," voiced 
the sentiment of his people. He immediately called a special 
session of the General Assembly, to meet on May 1st, and 
asked for twenty thousand volunteers, announcing that 
the war was upon us and we must take our proper place 
in the controversy. On the same day on which they convened, 
the General Assembly summoned a Convention without sub- 
mitting the question to the voters of the State. The election 
of delegates took place on the 13th of May. To show the 
ardent attachment to the Union and the strong desire to pre- 
serve it, many of the delegates were voted for under special 
instructions to cast their ballots against secession, but time 
soon rudely dispelled the delusion which they had cherished, 
and, when the day for the Convention came, they saw that 
the momentous question of secession must be squarely faced. f 

With this state of affairs before them, the Convention — 
commonly known as the '* Secession Convention" — assembled 
in the Hall of the House of Commons in the city of Raleigh at 
eleven o'clock on the morning of the twentieth day of May 
in the year 1861, and, holding sessions from time to time, did 
not finally adjourn until May 13, 1862. 

The Convention organised by electing Hon. Weldon Na- 
thaniel Eldwards, of Warren, President, giving him sixty-five 
votes to forty-eight for Hon. William A. Graham. 

♦Moore's History, Vol. n. 

f Many of the letters which I have received iu reg^ard to delegates, 
state this as a fact, but Dr. Battle thinks that it is probable that the 
writers were mistaken, having confused the election on the 13th of 
May with that in February. 


An idea of the relative strength of the two factions will be 
given by the vote. For Mr. EMwards : Messrs. Arrington, 
Ashe, Battle of Edgecombe, Biggs, Brodnax, Brown, Bunting, 
Carson, Cowan, Craige, Cunningham, Darden, Durham, Foy, 
Fuller, Gee, Graves, Green, Greenlee, Grimes, Hamlin, Har- 
grove, Henkel, Hicks, Hill, Houston of Duplin, Houston of 
Union, Howard, Johnston of Gaston, Johnston of Mecklenburg, 
Lander, Leak, McDowell of Bladen, McDowell of Burke, 
McDowell of Madison, McNeill of Cumberland, Meares, Mil- 
ler, Moody, Moseley, Myers, Osborne, Penland, Phifer, Ray- 
ner, Reid, Rhodes, Royster, Ruflftn, Shaw, Smith of Halifax, 
Stewart, Strong, Sutherland, Thompson, Thornton, Tracy, 
Venable, Ward, Washington, Whitford, Williams, Winslow, 
Woodfin and Wooten — 65. * 

For Mr. Graham: Messrs. Allison, Armfield, Badger, 
Barnes, Battle of Wake, Berry, Bond, Calloway, Cannon, 
Christian, Councill, Davidson, Dick, Douthitt, EUer, Ellison, 
Ferebee, Foster of Ashe, Foster of Randolph, Gilmer, Hearne, 
Headen, Holden, Jones of Caldwell, Jones of Rowan, Kittrell, 
Long, Mann, Manning, McNeill of Harnett, Merritt, Mitch- 
ell, Patterson, Pettigrew, Sanders, Satterthwaite, Shipp, 
Smith of Johnston, Smith of Macon, Speed, Sprouse, Spruill 
of Bertie, Spruill of Tyrrell, Thomas of Carteret, Turner, 
Walton, Warren, and Wilson — 48. 

Mr. Osborne of Mecklenburg, nominated Walter L. Steele, 
of Richmond for Principal Secretary and Mr. Battle of Wake 
nominated James H. Moore of Guilford. Mr. Steele received 
ninety six votes and Mr. Moore nineteen. Mr. Steele was de- 
clared elected. Leonidas C. Edwards, of Granville, was elect- 
ed Assistant Secretary, receiving fifty eight votes against 
thirty three, twelve, and eleven respectively for Messrs. J. A. 
Fox, of Mecklenburg, J. A. EMwards, of Edgecombe, and 
Samuel A. Williams, of Granville. 

Immediately after the organisation, Hon. George E. Badger 
presented an ordinance based on the right of Revolution, 
similar to the Declaration of Independence of 1776, avoiding 
the question of the legal right of North Carolina to secede 


from the Union. This was rejected by the decisive vote of 
seventy two to forty. 

The substitute of Hon. Burton Craige, based on the consti- 
tutional rig-ht of a state to withdraw from the Union when- 
ever, in its opinion, its interests or dignity required, was 
adopted unanimously. 

" An Ordinance to ratify the Provisional Constitution of the 
Confederate States of America" was adopted on the same day. 

At the evening" session, in open Convention, the members 
proceeded to affix their names and places of residence to the 
ordinance of secession; and one hundred and twenty — the 
whole number provided for by the General Assembly — came 
forward and sig-ned the instrument.* 

Although there was really no Union party in the election 
of delegates, the election of President and other officers showed 
that there was a division in the Convention between the orig- 
inal secessionists and the old union men. The latter, who 
were of the Constitutional Union party, took ground against 
secession as a legal remedy for the condition of affairs then ex- 
isting, but agreed that it would be better for North Carolina 
to cast her fortunes with the other Southern States if coercion 
should be attempted. 

The red-hot secessionist element was always in the minor- 
ity, but their control of the body, for a long time, was due to 
the fact that a number of old unionists voted with them, 
thinking that want of harmony might be construed into hos- 
tility to the war. The old union men finally voted together 
and gained control of the Convention. 

As it is our purpose to attempt to give sketches of the mem 
bers of this body, it would be irrelevant for us to go into a de- 
tailed account of the proceedings; but to obtain a proper con- 
ception of the personnel of this body, it is necessary to have a 
definite idea of its general character. In its ranks there was 
an unusually large number of college men. Out of the total 
enrollment — one hundred and forty -seven, principal officers in- 
cluded, sixty-seven had had the advantage either in whole or 
in part of a collegiate education, 

♦Journals of the Convention. 


If we add sixteen physicians who had taken a professional, 
but not a literary, college course, the total number will reach 
eighty-three. Of this number, fifty-one claimed the State Uni. 
versity as their -4/wa Mater \ three each claimed Princeton and 
Randolph-Macon ; two Yale and Wake Forest College; one each 
the University of Virginia, Davidson College', Trinity College, 
(North Carolina), Trinity College, (Connecticut,) Columbian 
University, Hampdcn-Sidney College, LaGrange College, (Al- 
abama), West Point, Jefferson Literary College, (Pennsylva- 
nia,) and Guilford College — then New Garden — not deducting 
in the latter calculation names occurring more than once. 

Some knowledge of the general standing, politically, socially, 
and commercially of the men comprising it should not be omit- 
ted. They were undoubtedly typical representatives of the 
best citizenship of the State. It was one of the most, if not the 
most, able body of men ever assembled in the State. Men who 
had been leaders in the political life of the State for the half- 
century preceding, and who also had a national reputation were 
there, while there were others who were soon to gain enviable 
reputations on the battlefield. Neither must those be forgotten 
who were to be the help and stay of the State in the '* Dark 
Days of Reconstruction " and who were to do all they could 
to direct her once more into the channels of peace and pros- 
perity. But it would consume too much time and space to 
speak of this body as a whole in the manner which it deserves, 
so we shall consider each delefsrate separately, taking them in 
their alphabetical order. Of course in attempting to give 
similar facts about one hundred and forty-seven men, there will 
necessarily be more or less unavoidable repetition which will 
probably grow monotonous to the reader. 

In writing this paper, we have been forced to rely largely 
upon personal correspondence with the relatives of delegates 
or other persons conversant with the facts, and in several in- 
stances all the necessary data have been obtained from the del- 
egate himself. On commencing this undertaking, in Septem- 
ber, 18%, all the North Carolina histories, pamphlets of the 
University and of the Literary Societies, biographies, and 


other available matter were consulted. However, they con- 
tained but a small proportion of the material necessary for 
our work and much of this was unsatisfactory and in many 
cases, as we afterwards discovered, inaccurate. Correspond- 
ence was immediately begun and was continued without in- 
terruption until May 1897, and intermittently from then un- 
til the day of publication during- which time more than two 
hundred letters have been written. As a result, more than a hun- 
dred sketches never before published have been obtained and 
many facts supplementing the accounts of others given else- 
where have been obtained. Owing to the fact that some peo- 
ple either misunderstood the motive of the work or allowed 
the matter to be overlooked, much trouble and delay have 
been caused, and needed data have not been obtained. For 
the same reason it was necessary to write many times to ob- 
tain the facts desired in each case. • Some sketches are meager 
because the relatives of the subject of inquiry had moved to 
other States and when written to there, were unable to fur- 
nish exact dates on account of the loss of family records ; in 
other instances the meagerness is due to the fact that the con- 
temporaries of the subject of inquiry and all of his near rela- 
tives were dead. In many cases, relatives have kindly lent 
family records and other valuable data. 

In the foot notes the writer has endeavored to give 
proper credit to the large number of persons who have 
so carefully and considerately answered his letters of in- 
quiry. To them may be ascribed whatever of accuracy the pa- 
per may possess. Frequent credits have been given to Prom- 
inent Living North Carolinians^ by Professor Jerome Dowd, 
to both Wheeler's History and Reminiscences, and to Moore's 
History, but so often were they consulted that no acknowledge- 
ment has been made when there was a collateral source of in- 
formation for the facts given. To Dr. Kemp P. Battle, 
whose advice and assistance made the work possible, are due 
my greatest and most lasting obligations. 

Before beginning the subject proper, a few explanations 
are necessary. At or very near the beginning of the first 


sentence in regard to the subject of each sketch is given the 
name of the delegate- and the county which he represented in 
the Convention and the name of the county simply is given 
and neither the abbreviation, '* Co.'' nor the word '* county ", 
is written after it, as we deem either of them needless. 
Neither is the name of the state written after either towns or 
counties except when they are not in North Carolina. The 
use of titles is generally avoided and simple Mr. and the 
third personal pronoun are, for the most part, used. In giv- 
ing the parentage, the mother's maiden name is usually, 
when known, enclosed in parentheses immediately preceding 
her husband's name. Recognising our inability to form a 
proper estimate of the merits of each delegate we have, with 
few exceptions, avoided laudatory terms and have endeavored 
to confine ourselves to concise and accurate statement of facts. 

OF 1861. 

Allison, Thomas Alexander.* 

In following the alphabetical order, the name of Thos. A. 
Allison of Iredell comes first. He was bom on December 19, 
1794, near Statesville. His parents, Thomas and Esther 
(Neill) Allison were both of Scotch-Irish descent. He was 
one of the largest farmers in Iredell and also one of the 
largest slave owners. He represented his native county in 
the State Senate in 1829, '32 and '42 and in the House of Com- 
mons in 1864 and '66. Although he spoke but seldom he was 
recognized as a leader in the Whig party and a leader who 
could be relied upon to do what was right. He was a mem- 
ber of the old County Court for a number of years. He was 
opposed to secession. He was, for many years, a Ruling 
Elder in the Presbyterian Church. He was descended from 
the McAllisters of Scotland on his father's side. He died 
February 24, 1879. 

Armfield, Robert Franklin, t 

The delegate from Yadkin was Robert Franklin Armfield, 
who was born three miles west of Greensboro on July 9, 1829. 
At fourteen years of age, he entered Trinity College, then 
Union Institute, just starting under Rev. Dr. B. Craven. 
After he was twenty, he taught school a year ; then read 
law under Hon. John A. Gilmer, and settled at Yadkfnville, 
Yadkin Co. He resigned his seat in the Convention to go 
to war as First Lieutenant of Company B, Thirty-eighth Regi- 
ment North Carolina Troops, and was soon afterwards pro- 
moted to Lieutenant-Colonel. He took part in the "Seven 

♦Prof. D. Matt Thompson, Statesville. 
fWheeler's Reminiscences. 


Day's Fig-ht " around Richmond. Being* wounded at the bat- 
tle of Shepardstown in October 1862, he returned home, and 
while at home the leg-islature elected him Solicitor of the 
Sixth Judicial District, which office he held until the close of 
the war. In 1865, he removed to Wilkesboro, and, five years 
later, to Statesville. In 1874, Mr. Armfield represented Ire- 
dell, Wilkes, and Alexander in the State Senate and was 
elected President of that body, and thus was next in succession 
to the Governor. Two years later he was elected to Congress 
from, the Seventh District and was re-elected at the next 
election. He was in 1888 appointed to the Superior Court 
bench ; was elected to it at the next ensuing election and 
served upon it with distinction.* He died Nov. 9, 1898. 

Arrington, Archibald Huntbr.I 

A. H. Arrington of Nash, son of John and Elizabeth 
(Mann) Arring-ton, was born in the above county at Hilliards- 
ton on November 13, 1809. His mother was Mrs, Elizabeth 
Nicholson at the time she married John Arring-ton. His an- 
cestors, both paternal and maternal, were Eng-lish. He re- 
ceived his education at the Louisburg* Male Academy under 
John B. Bobbitt, and at an early age studied law. He prac- 
tised law and was a successful planter. From 1841-'43, he 
represented his district in Congress. He was also Chairman 
of the Nash County Court for a number of years. In Febru- 
ary 1862, being elected by the Convention a member of the 
Confederate House of Representatives, he resigned his seat 
in the Convention for one in the Confederate Congress where 
he served two terms. He believed in the right of a state to 
secede. After the war, he held no public office. He died 
July 20, 1872. 

AsHB, William Shbphbrd.J 

The grandson of Governor Samuel Ashe and the son of 
Samuel and Elizabeth (Shepherd) Ashe was William Shep- 

♦Charlotte Observer, November 10, 1898. 
fThomas M. Arrington, Washington, D. C. 
^Letter from James Spnint, E^sq. 


herd Ashe of New Hanover, who was born September 14, 1814, 
His ancestors were English, the Ashes coming directly from 
England. He was educated at Trinity College, Connecticut, 
and entered on the practice of law in 1835, but soon devoted 
himself exclusively to rice planting. He was the father of 
the North Carolina Railroad, having drawn and introduced 
the bill chartering that company and appropriating two mil- 
lion dollars state aid for its construction. He held the fol- 
lowing public offices: State Senator, 1847-*48 ; Member of 
Congress, 1849-55 ; In charge of the Transportation of , Con- 
federate Troops with rank of Major, In 1855 he became 
President of the Wilmington and Weldon Rail Road Company, 
and was soon recognised as one of the best railroad men in 
the South. While riding on a hand-car near the East River 
bridge on that road, he was run down by an express train 
and received injuries from which he died in his home at Rocky 
Point on September 14, 1862. 

Atkinson, Peyton Ashley.* 

P. A. Atkinson, son of Ashley and Rebecca (Tunstall) At- 
kinson, was born in 1823. He spent one year at Princeton, 
1841, and one at William and Mary College, Williamsburg, 
Va., but did not graduate. He was a farmer and accumulated 
a large fortune prior to the war. He was a Whig and a con- 
servative secessionist. He was a member of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church South and built a church on his own plan- 
tation in Pitt county for the use of the whole community. f 
General Bryan Grimes resigned as a delegate to the Conven- 
tion from Pitt at the close of the first session and Mr. Atkin- 
son was elected to fill the vacancy. 

Badger, George Edmund. J 
One of the Wake delegates was George Edmund Badger, a 

^Repeated efforts have been made to obtain a full and accurate 
sketch of Mr. Atkinson, but they have as yet been unavailing. How- 
ever the writer hopes to be able to add the facts omitted here in an ap- 

f Hon. EJlias Carr, Old Sparta. 

J Wheeler's History j Lives of Distinguished North Carolinians. 


very able lawyer, who had been Secretary of the Navy under 
John Tyler, but resigned when the policy of the administra- 
tion was changed. Both of Badger's parents were devoted 
Revolutionary patriots. His father was a native of Connecti- 
cut^and his mother was Lydia Cogdell, a daughter of Richard 
Cogdell, a member of the Council of Safety of 1775. He was born 
in New Berne April 17, 1795. He was a student at Yale Uni- 
versity in the class of Dr. Elisha Mitchell, but did not remain 
to graduate. He studied law under John Stanly, his kins- 
man. - In 1814, he was Aid-de-Camp to General Calvin Jones 
with rank of Major, He was admitted to the bar before he 
was of age, and by appointment of a judge was a Solicitor of 
the State. The year of his majority, he represented the 
borough of New Berne in the General Assembly. He then 
made successively Hillsboro, Warrenton, and Louisburg, his 
home. In 1820, he was elected a Judge of the Superior Court 
and acted as such for four years, and then removed to Raleigh 
and devoted himself to his profession. He was Secretary of 
the Navy under Harrison and for a short while under Tyler^ 
and was United States Senator 1846-'55, In 1851 the Presi- 
dent nominated him for a seat on the Supreme Court bench, 
but the Senate^beingDemocratiCjf ailed to confirm the nomina- 
tion. In 1834, the University of North Carolina and Yale 
conferred the degree of LL.D,, upon him. He was a Trustee 
of the former institution for twenty-six years. "His great 
power as a lawyer," says Wheeler, *'was acknowledged by 
both bench and bar." Mr. Badger was a consistent member 
of the Episcopal Church. A stroke of paralysis ended his 
long and distinguished career on May 11, 1866. 

Baglby, Doctor Warrbn.* 

Doctor Warren Bagley was elected to fill the vacancy 
caused by the resigTiation of Judge Asa Biggs. He was the 
son of William and Sarah (Warren) Bagley and was born in 
Martin, September 2, 1801, Mr. Bagley was of English ex- 
traction on both sides. He was a merchant and by prudence 

♦Letter from James EJ. Moore, Williamston. 


and thrift succeeded in accumulating- a comfortable fortune. 
He never desired political preferment and the only public 
office that he ever held except that of deleg^ate to the Conven- 
tion from his native county, was Treasurer of that county. 
He opposed secession until he thought there was no other al- 
ternative. He served for many years as President of the 
Board of Trustees of Williamston Academy and as Director 
of the Williamston and Tarboro Rail Road Co. Mr. Bag-ley 
died February 27, 1878. 

Barnes, David Alexander.* 

David Alexander Barnes, of Northampton, the son of Col- 
lin Williams and Sarah Barnes, was born at the old homestead 
in the above county, near the Hertford line, on September 16, 
1819. He was graduated from the University of North Caro- 
lina in 1840, and read law under Judge Gaston. His first pub- 
lic service was in the House of Commons in 1844 to which he 
was re-elected in 1846 and again in 1850. He was Presidential 
Elector on the Scott and Graham ticket in 1852 ; was Presid- 
ing Justice of the Hertford County Court for several years, 
and was Aid-de-Camp to Governor Vance during the war. In 
1865 the Legislature elected him a Superior Court Judge, but 
he resigned upon the adoption of the Constitution of 1868. 
After the war. Judge Barnes built up a large practice. He 
resided in an elegant home near Murfreesborough to which 
place he removed after his marriage. He passed away on June 
24, 1892. t 

Batchelor, Littleberry Watts, t 

L. W. Batchelor, of Halifax, son of James Watts and Mary 
Lane (Shelton) Batchelor, was born in that county, January 
13, 1823. After attending Bingham School (Hillsboro) for 
about two years, he went to Philadelphia to study medicine 
and, as soon as he received his diploma, located in his native 

♦Prominent Living North Carolinians, by Jerome Dowd. 
fSketch by Pulaski Cowper, £<8q., Raleig-h. 
JHon. J. B. Batchelor, Raleigh. 


county. He devoted most of his time to practice and cared 
little for politics and public office. He was for many years 
a Justice of the Peace and also a member of the old County 
Court. Mr, Batchelor was a devoted Southerner and a firm 
believer in the rig-ht of a State to secede, and this tog-ether 
with the requests of his friends induced him to become a can- 
didate for the Convention. He was of English descent and a 
member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He died 
in E A field on January 4, 1885. 

BATTI.E, Kemp Pi^ummer.* 

Kemp P. Battle, of Wake, was born in Franklin county, near 
Louisburg, December 19, 1831. His father was Judge Wm. 
Horn Battle, for many years on the Superior and Supreme 
Court Benches. His grandfather, Joel, who erected in 1820 
one of the first cotton factories in the State, was the son 
of William, whose father was Elisha Battle, the progenitor of 
the race in North Carolina, a member of the Constitutional 
Convention of 1776 and of the State Senate throughout the 
Revolutionary War. His mother was a daughter of Kemp 
Plummer, a lawyer, of Warrenton, of an old Virginia family, 
one of whom was Governor Kemp of Virginia in the 
time of Charles L He was graduated from the University of 
North Carolina in 1849 with first honorsf ; was Instructor of 
Latin and Greek 1849-'50, and then Tutor of Mathematics four 
years in his Alma Mater, He read law under his father and 
located in Raleigh in 1854. He was a Director of the Bank of 
North Carolina for several years. From 1862-'66 he was Presi- 
dent of the Chatham Railroad Company, the object of which 
was to develop the coal fields of Chatham County and to connect 
them with the railroad systems of, the State. In 1866 he was 
elected Treasurer of the State and served two and a half years. 
He was elected in 1869 President of the State Agricultural 
Society, being the first president after the war. He was Secre- 
tary and Treasurer of the University of North Carolina in 1874- 

♦Dr. K. P. Battle. 
fUniversity Records. 


1876 and wase lected President of this institution in 1876 serv- 
ing until 1891, when he resig-ned to become its Alumni Prof es- 
sor of History, which position he now occupies. He and his 
father were in 1868 deputies to the Episcopal General Conven- 
tion in Philadelphia, which restored the relations between the 
Northern and Southern Episcopalians which had been rup- 
tured during the civil war. Dr. Battle has also served as Di- 
rector of the Insane Asylum at Raleigh and as a Trustee of 
the State University for a number of years. He has written 
various historical monographs, among them the following: two 
on the **History of the City of Raleigh"; **History of the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina", ** History of the Supreme Court", 
ordered published by the judges in the Supreme Court reports ; 
** Sketches of the Early History of the University " ; ''Lead- 
ers of the Church of England in the Colonial Period in North 
Carolina"; "Trials and Judicial Proceedings in the New Tes- 
tament." Previous to the war he was a Whig. He was a 
strong unionist until the breaking out of the war, being Pres- 
ident of the Union Club of Wake. He has been, for many 
years, a member of the Episcopal Church. Davidson Col- 
lege conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws. 

Battle, Lucikn Napoleon Bonaparte.* 

L. N. B. Battle, of Nash, was born near Nashville on Feb- 
ruary 22, 1830, of parentage, Lawrence and Martha (Arring- 
ton) Battle. He was a farmer, and was a Judge of the county 
and a Justice of the Peace for a number of years. He served in 
the House of Commons and in the State Senate, and was a 
salt commissioner during the civil war. He was a Democrat 
and secessionist previous to the war and a Republican after 
1869, He died May 10, 1897, 

Battle, William Smith.! 

W. S. Battle, of Edgecombe, was born in that county on 
October 4, 1823, on a plantation bought by his great-grand- 

*A. W. Battle, Nashville. 
tDr. Kemp P. Battle. 


father, Elisha Battle, from the Earl of Granville, His father 
was James Smith Battle, son of Jacob, whose father was Eli- 
sha Battle, mentioned in a preceding- sketch. His mother 
was Harriet, daughter of Samuel Westray of Nash county. 
He was graduated at the University of North Carolina in 1844, 
He is a farmer and was for years a cotton manufacturer, his 
factory at the Falls of the Tar being one of the oldest in the 
State. He* was an *' Old Jeff ersonian Democrat" and a firm 
believer in the right of secession. Mr, Battle has never held 
any public office except that of delegate to the Convention and 
is still living on his plantation near Tarboro. 

Berry, John. 

John Berry, of Orange, son of John and Rosamond Berry, 
was born in Hillsboro, March 25, 1798. His extraction was 
English. He never attended school over ^ve months in his life, 
yet he became a well-read and an unusually intelligent man 
and could solve the problems of Euclid with ease. He was a 
builder and contractor and erected a number of public build- 
ings, among them the University Library and the Oxford Or- 
phan Asylum. Mr. Berry defeated Hugh Waddell for the 
State Senate in 1848, and was re-elected in 1850, '52, '64 and '66. 
The opponents of William A. Graham and John Berry as dele- 
gates to the Convention were Pride Jones and H. K. Nash. 
He was a Democrat and opposed to secession. He died Janu- 
ary 20, 1880. 

Biggs, AsA.f 

Judge Asa Biggs was bom in Williamston in the county of 
Martin on the 4th day of February, 1811. His father was the 
Rev. Joseph Biggs, of the Primitve Baptist Church, and his 
mother was Chloe Biggs, whose maiden name was Daniel. 

He received his license to practice law in the County Court 
in 1831. He was from the beginning of his career a Demo- 
crat, differing from members of his family. His first public 

*Mr. J. W. Graham, HiUsboro. 
tFrank W. Kellinger, Norfolk, Va. 


service was at the age of twenty-four in the Convention of 
1835. He was a member of the House of Commons in 1840 
and again in 1842, and of the State Senate in 1844. He was 
elected to the House of Representatives in 1845 and was again 
a candidate in 1847, but suffered defeat. The Legislature of 
1854 elected him to the United States Senate^ where he served 
until 1858, when President Buchanan appointed him to fill the 
United States District Judgeship for North Carolina made 
vacant by the death of Judge Potter, which position he held 
tintil the civil war. In 1851 Governor Reid appointed Judge 
Biggs with Hons. B. F. Moore and R. M. Saunders to revise 
and compile the Statutes of North Carolina, the result of 
which was the ''Revised Code" of 1854. He resigned from 
the Convention of 1861 to accept the Confederate District 
Judgeship, After the war terminated he did not again enter 
public life. In 1870 he formed a partnership for the practice 
of law with Hon. W. N. H. Smith. He had large business 
interests in Norfolk, Virginia, where he later removed, and 
died there on March 6, 1878. In religion he was a Primitive 
Baptist. Judge Biggs believed that any State had the right, 
when suflBcient cause existed, to withdraw from the Union by 
the same method by which it entered, and by such a proceeding 
the citizens were absolved from further allegiance to the Uni- 
ted States. He advocated the plan of constructing a railroad 
from Beaufort to the mountains at the expense of the State. 


Alexander McCuein Bogle, of Alexander, was elected to fill 
the vacancy caused by the death of A. C. Stewart. He was 
the son of Joseph M. Bogle, who was for many years Sheriff 
of Iredell county before Alexander was taken off. He was 
born in the part of Iredell now Alexander and was of Scotch- 
Irish extraction. He was graduated from Davidson College 
in 1843 ; read law under Chief Justice Pearson, and received 
his license in 1845. He served one term in the House of Com- 
mons (1854), and one in the State Senate (1864). In religion 
♦ Col. M. L,. McCorkle, Newton. 


he was a Presbyterian and in politics an ** Old Line Whig." 
He was not an original secessionist, but changed his views af- 
ter Lincoln's proclamation. Mr. Bogle died in 1875. 

Bond, Jambs*. 

The junior member from Bertie was bom in that county on 
April 8, 1831. His parents, Louis and Clarissa (Smithwick) 
Bond, were both of English ancestry. He received his pre- 
paratory education at Oak Grove Academy under Patrick H, 
Winston, was graduated from Wake Forest College in 1852 
and immediately thereafter chose farming as his life work. 
He has held the following public ofl&ces : Member of the 
House of Commons in 1862 and 1864; Chairman of the Inferior 
Court of Bertie, and President of the County Farmery' Alli- 
ance. He was originally opposed to secession. Mr. Bond 
is a member of the Baptist Church and is still living. 

Brodnax, Edward Travis. f 

Edward Travis Brodnax, pf Rockingham, born in Bruns- 
wick county, Virginia, on March 31, 1796, was the son of W.E. 
and Sallie (Jones) Brodnax. His mother was a daughter of 
Frederick and a sister of Pride Jones of the Revolution. Dur- 
ing the war of 1812 he joined a company raised in his native 
county and served as a private in the defence of Norfolk. Af- 
ter the war he went totheUniversity of Pennsylvania to study 
medicine and, upon receiving his degree, settled on a large 
estate given him by bis father in Rockingham county. Dr. 
Brodnax represented his adopted county in the House of Com- 
mons in 1823,in the State Senate in 1828, and in the Conven- 
tion of 1835, being amongst the few who served both in this 
Convention and that of 1861. He was the colleague of David 
S. Reid in the latter body. Dr, Brodnax and Judge Thomas 
Settle, Jr., were elected in February to the Convention which 
was voted down. He died January 7, 1874. 

♦ Hon. Francis D. Winston, Windsor, 
t Gren. James D. Glenn, Greensboro. 

22 james sprunt historical monographs 

Brown, Bedford.* 

An ardent Whig- and one of Andrew Jackson's most inti- 
mate friends and warmest admirers, was Bedford Brown, of 
Caswell, son of Jethro and Lucy (Williamson) Brown, who 
was born in Caswell in 1792. His ancestors, paternal and 
maternal, were Engflish, the Browns having- come to America 
from Bedfordshire, England. He attended the University of 
North Carolina two years, 1813 and 1814. In 1815-'16-'17, 
and again in 1823 he represented his native county in the 
House of Commons, and 1828 and '29 in the State Senate dur- 
ing which time he was Speaker of that body. In 1829, he 
was elected to the United States Senate by a majority of one 
vote. At the expiration of his term of office he was re-elect- 
ed, serving until 1840, when he resigned under instructions 
from the General Assembly. In 1842, he was again a candid- 
ate for the United States Senate, but was defeated. He i;e- 
moved to Missouri, but soon returned to his native county, 
add his constituents returned him to the State Senate in 1858, 
'62 and 1868 and to the Conventions of 1861 and of 1865. He 
was a strong advocate of States' Rights, but was opposed 
to secession, until the war began, because he did not think 
that it would behest for the South. Death ended his pub- 
lic service of almost three score years on December 6, 1870. 

Bunting, Thomas.! 

Dr. Thomas Bunting born August 8, 1801, was a native 
Sampsonian, He was of English-Irish extraction, his paternal 
ancestors emigrating from Derbyshire, England in 1642, and set- 
tling near Philadelphia. His parents were Richard and Mary 
(Clinton) Bunting. He attended the State University in 
1822 ; then studied medicine which he afterward practised to 
some extent, but later devoted his entire time to farming. 
Dr. Bunting served in the State Senate in 1836, '38, '50 and 
'52. He was delegate to the National Democratic Convention 
in Baltimore in 1852 and was, for a number of years. Clerk 

♦Bedford Brown, M.D., Alexandria, Va. 
fHon. John H. HiU, Goldsboro. 


and Master in Equity. He believed in secession as one of the 
reserved rights of the State and that the South had just cause 
to withdraw from the Union. He died April 19, 1871. 

Bryson, James Homes.* 

1^ J. H. Bryson, of Cherokee, succeeded A. T. Davidson, re- 

signed. His parents were Andrew and Margaret (White) 
Bryson, both of Scotch-Irish descent. He was bom in Hay- 
wood county, January 28, 1818. At the age of seventeen he 
removed to Cherokee county and engaged in merchandising. 
He was, at one time, employed on the topographical survey 
of the Cherokee nation. In 1838 he joined the United States 
army, but resigned soon after they succeeded in transferring 
the Indians, and again went into the mercantile business at 
Fort Butler (now Murphy). Prom 184(>-'S2, he was Clerk of 
the Court in his county, and was a member of the House of 
Representatives in 1862 and of the State Senate in 1864. He 
is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Mr. 
Bryson is still living at Andrew, N. C. where he is a hotel 
proprietor and farmer. He was an opponent of secession un- 

i til Lincoln's proclamation. 

Caldwell, Pinckney Cotesworth.! 

P. C. Caldwell, of Mecklenburg, oldest son of Captain 
Samuel and Elizabeth (Gulick) Caldwell, was born in Gaston 
county on August 2, 1802. His parents were both of Scotch- 
Irish extraction. His father was a captain in the Revolution- 
ary war. After being graduated in medicine at Transylvania 
University, Lexington, Kentucky, he located in Mecklenburg 
county, and for many years was one of the most prominent 
physicians of the county. Dr. Caldwell never sought public 
office and never held any except that of delegate to the Con- 
vention in place of William Johnston, resigned. He was a 
staunch Democrat, a strong secessionist, and an Episcopalian 
He died January 26, 1865. 

I ♦Miss Laura Bryson, Franklin, 

f Mrs. K. C. Guion, Charlotte. 

24 james sprunt historical monographs 

Caldwell, Richard Alexander.* 

Upon the election of Burton Craig^e to the Confederate 
Congress, Richard Alexander Caldwell of Rowan, third son 
of Judge David and Fanny (Alexander) Caldwell was elected 
by the people of the county to fill the vacancy. He was bom 
. in Salisbury on August 27, 1827. He was descended on both 
sides from good old Revolutionary stock, David Reese, one of 
the signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration, and Judge Rich- 
ard Henderson being among his ancestors. He was graduated 
from the University of North Carolina in 1848 ; studied law, 
and settled in Salisbury. Before the war he was Solicitor 
for Stanly county a number of years. He was a Director of 
the Western North Carolina Rail Road Company from Salis- 
bury to the Tennessee line for a period of years. He was 
not an original secessionist. At the time of his death, July 
10, 1882, Mr. Caldwell was a member of the Roman Catholic 

Calloway, JAMEs.f 

One of the oldest families in the counties of Wilkes and 
Ashe are the Calloways who are of Scotch-Irish extraction. 
Dr. James Calloway of Wilkes was born in Ashe county on 
July 23, 1806. His father, Elijah Calloway, was a native of 
Virginia and a nephew of Daniel Boone. Soon after attain- 
ing his majority, he was graduated from JeflFerson Medical 
College, Philadelphia and settled in Wilkes county. At this 
time and for many years afterward, there was no other phy- 
sician possessing a degree in the whole extent of the country 
between Wytheville, Virginia, and Statesville, N. C. His 
practice was consequently very large and laborious, embrac- 
ing in its range an area now constituting seven counties. 
Dr. Calloway was a member of the House of Commons three 
terms, 1828, '30 and '31, He was a Whig and at first opposed 
secession, but, after voting for it, gave to the Confederacy his 
earnest support. He was a large property owner, but his 

*Dr. J. A. CaldweU, Salisbury. 

f Calvin J. Cowles, Esq., Wilkesboro, T. C. Bowie, Obids. 


affairs became almost hopelessly embarassed after the war. 
Much of his property was in Kansas, where he removed in 
1870, but after two years, with broken health and fortune, lie 
returned to Wilkesboro and died there on December 25, 1878, 
a member of the Episcopal Church which he had joined thirty 
years before. 

Cannon, Joseph S.* 

J. S. Cannon, of Perquimans, was born in that county 
January 1, 1823, and died in Norfolk, Virginia, April 2, 1882. 
His ancestors were Eng-lish Quakers. He attended the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina in 1848-'49 ; then studied law and 
located in his native county. He was elected Clerk and Mas- 
ter in Equity in 1850, and was continuously re-elected for 
seventeen years. He served on the staff of Governor Vance 
during the war. He was a Whig and opposed to secession. 

Carson, Jason Hazard.! 

Jason H. Carson, bom at Green River, Rutherford — later 
Polk county — on November 10, 1814, was the son of Joseph 
McDowell and Rebecca (Wilson) Carson. J He was a farmer 
and was an Episcopalian. He was never a candidate for 
public ofi&ce, and never held any except that of delegate to the 
Convention from Rutherford and Polk counties. In 18S6, 
Mr. Carson predicted a war between the States and said that 
the North would prevail and free the negroes, and so strong- 
ly was he imbued with this conviction that he sold slaves 
and invested in lands, but after the Southern States seceded, 
he became an enthusiastic secessionist and so sanguine of 
success that he exchanged the lands for slaves. He died in 
Spartanburg, South Carolina on June 12, 186S. His place 
in the Convention was filled by Dr. George W. Michal. 

♦Hon. Thomas G. Skinner, Hertford. 
tRalph K. Carson, Spartanburg^, S. C. 
tDr. .J. C. Twitty, Twittj. 

26 jambs sprunt historical monographs 

Christian, Samuel H.* 

S. H. Christian, of Montg-omery, was born at Lawrenceville, 
Montg-omery county. May 20, 1805. The Christians were of 
Engflish ancestry and came to North Carolina from Virginia, 
settling on the fertile bottom-land of the Pee Dee River in 
the above county. When a very small boy he had the mis- 
fortune to be injured in such a manner as to make him a crip- 
ple for life. He received his education at the neighborhood 
schools and at an early age embarked in the mercantile busi- 
ness. He soon united farming with it and was very success- 
ful in both. He also added a large flouring mill to his other 
interests. He represented his county in the State Senate in 
1854 and '56. He was strongly opposed to secession. He 
was elected to the Confederate Congress in 1863, but died, 
March 2, 1864, before taking his seat. 

Cowan, Robert H.f 

R. H. Cowan, one of the New Hanover delegates, was born 
in Wilmington, August 23, 1824. His parents, Robert H, 
and Sally (Turner) Cowan were of Scotch-Irish and English 
descent respectively. In 1840 he entered the State Univer- 
sity receiving, with highest honors, the degree of Bachelor 
of Arts four years later. Very soon after being graduated, 
he married Eliza Jane Dickinson and engaged in the manu- 
facture of lumber with his father-in-law under the firm name 
of P, K. Dickinson & Co. He resigned from the Convention 
to become Lieutenant-Colonel of the Third Regiment North 
Carolina Troops. Upon the re-organization of the twelve 
months' volunteers, he was elected Colonel of the Eighteenth 
Regiment and remained with them until he was wounded in 
the * 'Seven Day's Fight" around Richmond and was incapaci- 
tated from further service. In 1864 he was elected President 
of the Wilmington, Charlotte and Rutherford ton Rail Road 
Company and remained at the head of the corporation until 
deposed by Governor Holden. In 1866-'67 he served in the 

♦Mrs. L. A. Ingram, Mt. Gilead. 
f David S. Cowan, Robeson, 


House of Commons. He was an adherent of the Episcopal 
Church.* Colonel Cowan's death took place November 11, 
1872 and was supposed to have been caused by the wound 
mentioned above. 

Councils, James Willis, t 

The deleg-ate from Wataug^a was James Willis Councill, 
son of Jordan and Sallie (Boone) Councill, born at Howard 
Post OflSce (now Boone) December 29, 1826. He was of 
Eng^lish-German ancestry. He held the office of Justice of 
the Peace for thirty-five years ; Clerk and Master in Equity 
six years and Lieutenant of Company D, Ninth Regfiment 
North Carolina Troops, until discharged on account of disa- 
bility. He favored secession. Mr. Councill died November 
19, 1884. 

Craige, Burton. J 

Fig-fating" on the side of Charles Edward at Culloden, were 
the ancestors of Burton Craige, of Rowan, and immediately 
after the defeat of the *• Pretender," they came to America, 
settling in North Carolina. Burton, son of David Craige, 
was born in Rowan county on March 13, 1811. Prepared for 
college by Rev. Dr. J. O. Freeman, he entered the State Uni- 
versity in 1824 and was graduated four years later. His name 
appears in the college records as Burton Francis Craige, but 
in after life, he dropped the middle name. He, at first, em- 
barked in journalism editing the '* Western Carolinian" for 
several years ; then studied law, obtaining his license in 
1832. He represented the borough of Salisbury in the House 
of Commons the same year. He v/as elected to Congress four 
successive terms (18S3-'61). In the Convention of 1861 Mr. 
Craige offered the ordinance of s cession which was adopted. 
The Convention elected him to the Confederate Congress, 
giving him sixty-four votes to thirty-seven for William R. 

♦James Sprunt, Esq., Wilmington. 

tGeorge W. Councill, Boone. 

tWheeler's Reminiscences, U, N. C. 1789-1889, 


Myers of Mecklenburg-. His Alma Mater conferred upon him 
the degree of LL.D., in 1847. On December 30, 187S, Mr. 
Craige died at Concord while attending court. 

Cunningham, John Wilson.* 

J. W. Cunningham, of Person, was the son of Alexander and 
Mattie (Wilson) Cunningham, and was born February 6, 1820, 
in the city of Petersburg, Virginia. He attended Bingham 
School and the University of North Carolina and was grad- 
uated from the latter in 1840. His father was a wholesale 
merchant of Petersburg and had purchased a large tract of 
land in Person county where he had established a branch 
store. Here his son settled and soon became a successful 
merchant and planter. He represented his county in the 
State Senate for eight years (18S2-'60), in the House of Com- 
mons in 1864 and again in the Senate in 1866, '72 77 and 79. 
He was a member of the Council of State during the admin- 
istrations of Governors Ellis and Clark and Collector of his 
district during the war. In addition to these, he filled every 
office in his county and was, for many years. Presiding Jus- 
tice of the County Court. In 1880 there was not a single vote 
in his township cast against him. Other public offices were 
often tendered him but he invariably declined all those which 
would necessitate his absence from his large mercantile and 
farming interests for any length of time. He was a member 
of the Episcopal Church. He died July IS, 1887. 

Darden, William A.f 

W. A. Darden, of Greene county, was the son of William A. 
and Harriet (Speight) Darden. Both the Dardens and the 
Speights came to North Carolina from Virginia and were of 
Scotch-Irish descent. He intended to study law and entered 
Randolph-Macon College, but his eye-sight failed during his 
junior year, so he returned home and became a farmer. He 
was a lieutenant in a company of the Third North Carolina 

*Hon. John S. Cunning-ham, Cunning-ham's Store. 
fWilliam M. Darden, Speight's Bridge. 


Regiment, but resigned to go to the Convention. Later he be- 
came Captain of Company E, Sixty-first North Carolina 
Regfiment. He was taken prisoner at Fort Harrison and con- 
fined in Fortress Monroe for nine months, which resulted in 
completely wrecking his health. After the war he was a 
Democrat and represented his native county in the State Leg- 
islature in 1882. Mr. Darden was a Methodist and a fii;m be- 
liever in its doctrines. In 1888 he was elected Business Agent 
of the State Farmers' Alliance and died at GatesviUe July 3, 
1890, while in the discharge of duties connected with that 

Davidson, Allen Turner*. 

A. T. Davidson, of Cherokee, was born in Haywood county 
March 9, 1819. He is of Scotch-Irish extraction and both of 
his grandfathers. Major William Davidson and Captain David 
Vance, fought in the Revolutionary War on the patriot side. 
Mr. Davidson received his education at the **old field" schools 
and at the Waynesville Academy. He is a lawyer by profes- 
sion and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. 
In the early part of his career he was Clerk and Master in 
Equity for Haywood cpunty. After his admission to the bar 
he was for many years Solicitor for Cherokee county. He op- 
posed secession until Lincoln called on the South for troops. 
He was a member of the Council of State in 1864 and 1865. 
The Convention elected him to the Confederate Congress from 
the Eighth District, giving him fifty-five votes to forty-seven 
for N. W. Woodfin. He has been prominent in public affairs 
since the war but has never occupied any public office. In 
1884 Mr. Davidson retired from business and since then 
has been living with his son, Hon. T. F. Davidson, in Ashe- 

Dick, Robert PAiNEf- 

R. P. Dick, of Guilford, son of Judge John M. and Parthenia 

♦Hon. T. F. Davidson, Asheville. 

\Frominent Living North Carolinians^ Sketch irom President Dred 
Peacock, Oreensboro. 


P. (Williamson) Dick, was born in Greensboro October 5, 1822. 
He received his preparatory training" at Caldwell Institute; 
entered the University of North Carolina and graduated with 
honor in 1843. He received his license to practice law in 
1845 and located at Wentworth, Rocking-ham county, but four 
years later removed to Greensboro. Mr. Dick was a member 
of the National Democratic Convention at Baltimore in 1852. 
In 1853 President Pierce appointed him District Attorney for 
North Carolina, which position he held until April 1861 when 
he resig-ned. In 1860 he was a member of the National Dem- 
ocratic Conventions at Charleston and Baltimore, and at the 
latter was the only North Carolinian to remain and act in the 
body. He was an elector for the State-at-larg-e on the Doug- 
las and Johnson ticket, and was a member of the National Ex- 
ecutive Committee of the wing of the Democratic party to 
which he belonged. In the Convention he was a prominent 
conservative. He was a member of the Council of State during 
a part of the administration of Governor Vance; State Senator 
1864-'65 and a delegate to the Convention of 1865. In May, 
1865, he, together with a number of other citizens of the State, 
went to Washington to confer with President Johnson in re- 
gard to the best way to restore the State to its normal condi- 
tion in the Union. In May, 1865, the President appointed him 
United States District Judge for North Carolina, which he re- 
signed in two months, being unable to take the ** Test Oath." 
He was a prominent member of the Convention to re-organize 
the Republican party in the State. In 1868 he was elected 
Associate Justice of the State Supreme Court and held this of- 
fice until 1872, when he resigned to accept the United States 
District Judgeship of Western North Carolina. In 1878 he 
and Judge John H. Dillard established a law school in Greens- 
boro which has prepared a number of successful lawyers. 
Judge Dick was a well-read man, a florid and eloquent writer 
with a great fondness for literature and history. He was for 
more than thirty years a Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian 
Church. He died September 13, 1898. 

convention of 1861 31 

Dickson, James.* 

James Dickson, of Duplin, was born in Duplin county near 
Magnolia, June 7th, 1802. His father was James Dickson and 
his mother was Susana Powell, of Cravpn county, but married 
James Carr, and was a widow when married to James Dickson. 
He was of Scotch-Irish extraction. He was a farmer; was, for 
for twelve years, Clerk of the Court of Duplin county; and 
was State Senator in 1860-'62. He was a member of the 
Presbyterian Church and an original secessionist. The date 
of his death was February 16, 1882. 


Dr. R.Dillard, of Chowan, was born in Sussex county, Virgin- 
ia, December 1, 1822. His father, Major James Dillard, was 
a native and resident of that county. He was of Scotch-Irish 
lineag-e, possessing many of the characteristics of the race. He 
was graduated in the collegiate course at the University of 
Virginia and in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. 
Locating in Chowan coimty, N. C, he soon built up a consid- 
erable practice. In 1856 his fellow citizens elected him to 
the State Senate and re-elected him at the subsequent election. 
After mature deliberation and study Dr. Dillard decided that 
the doctrine of States' Rights was both just and constitu- 
tional. He was therefore a typical Southern secessionist. 
Dr, Dillard was blessed with more than a competence of this 
world's wealth and gave one of his large farms to the sup- 
port of the Confederate soldiers. Gk)vernor Clark appointed 
him one of his Aides-de-Camp with the rank of Colonel, his duty 
being to superintend the defence of the Albemarle section. 
He was afterwards Acting Brigade Surgeon to General Roger 
A. Pryor, and was in active service in the memorable '* Seven 
Days' Fight" around Richmond. When peace was restored 
he returned home only to find it made uninhabitable by shot 
and shell and his fortune gone, but he went to work and was 

*Hon. Thos. S. Kenan, Raleigfh. 

f North Carolina Medical Journal, i888;^ (Son) Dr. Richard Dillard, 


soon in as comfortable circumstances as ever. Governor Scales 
appointed him a director of the Western Insane Asylum in 
1884 and later of the Asylum at Raleig^h, which position he 
held at the time of his death, in 1887. 

DoNNELi*, Richard Spaight.* 

R. S. Donnell, of Beaufort, only son of Judge John R. Don- 
nell and Marg-aret, daughter of Governor Richard Dobbs 
Spaig-ht, was bom in Craven county on September 20, 1820. 
He was of Scotch-Irish descent. He received part of his educa- 
tion at Yale College, but afterwards entered the University of 
North Carolina and was graduated in 1839, He studied law 
and soon rose to considerable eminence in his profession. He 
was a member of Congress from 1847-'49 ; member of the up- 
per house of the General Assembly in 1858, and of the House 
of Commons in 1860, *62 and '64, being Speaker of this body, 
during his last session. He was also a delegate to the Con- 
vention of 186S. In 1863 he wrote a letter on the ** History 
of Secession" which gave him some reputation as a states- 
man. He never married and died on June 3, 1867. 

The Donnells were from Ireland, coming from near Lon- 
donderry. The Spaights were also an Irish family. Richard 
S. Donnell was a strong Whig in which he differed from his 
father who was a staunch Democrat. His influence was al- 
ways used in favor of Union and a peaceful settlement of sec- 
tional and other questions at issue, f 

DouTHiTT, Benton Ci^BMMONS.t 

B. C. Douthitt of Davidson bom, two miles from Clemmons- 
ville on March 24, 1811, was the son of Joseph and Lina 
(Clemmons) Douthitt. His paternal ancestors were Irish and 
maternal English. He was left an orphan at an early age. 
A few years before attaining his majority he received some 
capital with which he entered the mercantile business. He 

♦Col. John D. Whitford, New Berne, U, N. C 1789-1889. 

f Biographical Record of Class of 1838 (Tale College) of which Class, 
Mr. Donnell was the yonngesi member. 

XI, W. McCrar J, and others, Lrexington. 


was a member of the House of Commons in 1844 and of the 
State Senate in 1858. Mr. Douthitt was elected to the Con- 
vention as a unionist, but became a secessionist when Lincoln 
made his demand on the South for troops. His property was 
involved in the ruin attendant upon the war. Hoping to 
mend his broken fortunes he emigrated to Missouri and died 
at Kingsville in that state, February 9, 1873. 

Durham, Mica j ah.* 

Micajah Durham of Rutherford was born in Cleveland 
county near Shelby on November 11, 1804. His father, Chas. 
Durham, was a native of Durham, England, and his mother, 
Patience Davis of Cleveland, was a first cousin of President 
Jefferson Davis. He was a merchant and farmer. He was a 
life-long, hot-headed democrat and a strong Baptist — a lead- 
er of the denomination in his day. He was an ardent seces- 
sionist, canvassing his county in its favor. He was killed in 
the battle of the Wilderness on May S, 1864. 

Edwards, Wbi<don NATHANiBL.f 

The President of the Convention was W. N. Edwards of 
Warren, who was a native of Northampton county, born 
about two miles from Gaston in 1788. After obtaining his 
license to practise law he settled in Warren county. He first 
appeared in public life as the successor of Governor Miller in 
the House of Commons in 1814. He was elected to the same 
office the next year. Hon. Nathaniel Macon resigning as a 
member of the Fifteenth Congress, Mr. Edwards succeeded 
and served until the Eighteenth Congress, after which he de- 
clined to become a candidate again. He was elected to the 
State Senate in 1835 and held this position for eleven succes- 
sive years ; and again in 1850 and '52 when he was chosen 
its Speaker. He was a member of the Convention of 1835, 
having Nathaniel Macon as his colleague. His service in 
the Convention of '61 marked the close of his political career, 

*Mis8 Kate Durham, AsheviUe. 
tWheeler*8 Reminiscences; Moore's History. 


Mr. EJdwards was a strong- secessionist and believed fully in 
the ultimate triumph of the Confederacy. The result of the 
war and its attendant misfortunes preyed heavily on his mind 
and seemed to have caused him to lose interest in life, which 
facts no doubt hastened his death which occurred December 
18, 1873. 

Eller, Peter.* 

Peter EUer, of Wilkes, son of John and Susannah (Kearns) 
EUer, was born on New River, Wilkes county, March 17, 
180S. Both of his parents were of German extraction and 
were among the earliest settlers in their section. His occu- 
pation was farming-. He married the daughter of Colonel 
Robert, brother of Colonel ''Ben Cleveland." Mr. EUer 
was a Baptist and for many years, clerk of the Briar Creek 
Association. He was Colonel of the Militia in 1850-'52, and 
a member of the House of Commons, 1856-'S8. Colonel EUer 
opposed secession until he thought opposition useless. He 
died November 7, 1872. 

Ellison, William JoHN.f 

W. J. Ellison, of Beaufort, was a native of that county, 
born in 1813. His parents were William Brown and Louis 
(Barrow) Ellison. His ancestors on both sides were English; 
His parental grandfather came from the Isle of Man and was 
High Sheriff of Beaufort county under George HI, and also 
the first Sheriff after the Declaration of Independence. Mr. 
Ellison was a Whig before the war. He was a supporter of 
Bell and Everett, but afterwards a secessionist. He died 
March 6, 1862, and Richard S. Donnell was elected to fill the 
vacancy made by his death. 

Ferebke, Dennis Dauge.J 
Dennis Dauge, (generally erroneously spelled, as it is com- 

♦C. J. Cowles, Wilkesboro, A. H. EUer, Winston, 
f Miss Annie EUison, Fayctteville. 
JC. M. Ferebee, Camden C. H. 


monlj pronounced, Dozier), Perebee, of Camden, was born on 
the family estate near Indian Town in Currituck county, No- 
vember 9, 1815. He was the youngest child of Samuel and 
^^SSJ (Oauge) Ferebee. Samuel Ferebee was a member of 
the body which ratified the United States Constitution in Fay- 
etteville in 1789. The Ferebees were a prominent family in 
Eastern North Carolina and were commonly supposed to be 
descended from the Huguenots, but are more probably of Eng- 
lish origin, Ferebee being a corruption of de Fereby and Fer- 
eby, 'both common in old English chronicles. The Dauges 
were prominent Revolutionary patriots. He received his ed- 
ucation at Bingham School and at the State University at 
Chapel Hill, where he was graduated in 1839. He read law 
under Judge Gaston ; settled at Indian' Town, but later re- 
moved] to South Mills, Camden county. He represented 
Camden county in the House of Commons in 1846, '48, '56, '58 
and 1860, and in the Conventions of 1861 and 1865. He was 
Colonel of the Fourth Regiment North Carolina Cavalry. 
President Edwards appointed him to visit Richmond in order 
to confer with the Confederate goverment in regard to the 
payment of taxes by the State. The University conferred 
upon him the degree of A.M. in 1847. In addition to his law 
practice, Colonel Ferebee was a wealthy and a successful plant- 
er. He was opposed to secession. In religion he was an 
Episcopalian. He died April 29, 1894. 

Foster, Alfrbd Gaithkr.* 

The junior representative from Randolph was the son of 
Robert and Sarah (Gaither) Foster, born in Iredell county on 
January 5, 1825. He was of Scotch-Irish ancestry. His pa- 
rents removed to Lexington when he was a small boy. He was 
graduated from the University of North Carolina at the age 
of eighteen, then read law under Chief Justice Pearson ; prac- 
ticed for a while at Lexington, but ceased after a few years 
and removed to Randolph county to take charge of a large farm 
l)elonging to his father. He represented Randolph in the 
House of Commons in 1856. His death took place in 1865, 

♦Mrs. J. M. Gwyn, Spring Dale. 

36 james sprunt historical monographs 

Foster, Joel Edmund.* 

The delegfate from Alleghany and Ashe counties was born 
in Wilkes county on February 20, 1829. His parents were 
John and Annie (Vannoy) Foster both of whom were of Eng- 
lish descent. He was a member of the Legislature in 1879 
and of the extra session in 1880. He favored the withdrawal 
of North Carolina from the Union after the Gulf States had 
seceded. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church. When 
quite a young man, Mr. Foster embarked in the mercantile 
business at Jefferson and is still engaged in it. 

FoY, William. 

William Foy, of Jones, son of Thomas and Susannah 
(O'Connor) Foy, was born at the residence of his maternal 
grandfather in Trenton, Jones county, on August 17, 1822. 
William Foy's maternal grandfather, John Foy, emigrated 
from France during the latter part of the sixteenth century ; 
lived, died and was buried six miles from New Berne on the 
Trent road. William Foy was a student at Wake Forest Col- 
lege, but was not graduated there. He was an extensive 
farmer. He represented his native county in the House of 
Commons in 1846. He was also a magistrate for many years. 
He was an earnest Whig and a strong supporter of Henry 
Clay and was a delegate to the convention which nominated 
him for the Presidency. He died in June 1895. 

Fuller, John Powell. t 

John Powell Fuller, of Robeson, was born in Lumberton in 
1834. He was of English extraction. He was graduated 
from Randolph-Macon College in 1856 ; received his license to 
practice law two years later and the same year married a Miss 
Smith, the daughter of the President of Randolph-Macon. 
During a part of the war he was connected with the Treasury 
Department of the Confederate States. After the war he re- 

*Self, Jefferson, N. C. 

fE. h. McCormick, Maxton, N. C. 


sumed the practice of law in Lumberton. In 1866 he removed 
to St. Louis, Missouri. He died in New Orleans on February 
10, 1868, the tenth anniversary of his marriag-e. 

Gee, Charles James.* 

Dr. Gee, of Halifax, son of Sterling H. and Mary (Williams) 
Gee, was born on November 4, 1831, in that county. His pater- 
nal ancestors were Scotch, coming* orig-inally from the Midland 
counties of Eng-land, and his maternal, Welsh-Scotch. He stud- 
ied medicine at the University of Virg-inia for nine months ; 
then entered Jefferson Medical CoUeg-e at Philadelphia, re- 
ceiving* his degree in 1852 and settled in Weldon to practice 
his profession. Dr. Gee was elected to the Convention as an 
original Calhoun Democrat. Dr. L. W. Batchelor contested 
his seat and, being satisfied as to the validity of his oppo- 
nent's claims, he resigned after voting for secession. Dr. Gee 
served as Surgeon of the First Regiment North Carolina 
troops under Colonel M. S. Stokes, but resigned in 1862 to ac- 
cept an appointment on the staff of General Ramseur, which 
he held until Appomattox. He was also a planter and was the 
originator and first President of the Roanoke and Tar River 
Agricultural Society. He was physician for the State Farms 
in Halifax and Northampton counties for many years. He 
died March 25, 1892, as he had lived, a consistent member of 
the Episcopal Church. 

Gilmer, John ADAMS.f 

J. A. Gilmer, of Guilford, born in that county November, 
1805, was the oldest of twelve children born to Captain Rob- 
ert and Anne (Forbis) Gilmer. His ancestors were Scotch- 
Irish. After attending Rev. Dr. E. W. Caruther's school, he 
taught, for three years, in the Mt. Vernon Grammar School 
in Laurens county, S. C. In December, 1829, he returned 
home and read law under Judge Murphey, and in 1833 receiv- 
ed his license. In 1846 he was elected to the General Assem- 

♦Miss Pattie W. Gee, New York City. 

t Moore's History; Wheeler's Reminiscences. 


bly as Senator from Guilford and continued to hold this posi- 
tion until 1854. In 1854 his party, the Whig, nominated him 
for Governor, but he was defeated by Bragg*. He was elected 
to the Thirty-fifth Congress in 1857 and was re-elected to the 
Thirty -sixth. He was offered a seat in Lincoln's cabinet as 
Secretary of the Treasury, but declined. He was opposed to 
secession, but went with his State when it was decided upon. 
He died May 14, 1868. 

GoRRELL, Ralph.* 

Another delegate from Guilford was Ralph Gorrell, born 
May 12, 1803, who was a native of that county- He was of 
Scotch-Irish descent, his paternal grandfather emigrating 
from Ireland to America. His parents were David and Eu- 
phemia(Stewart)Gorrell. He was graduated from the Universi- 
ty of North Carolina in the class of 1825. He was a member of 
the House of Commons in 1834, 1835 and 1854 and of theState 
Senate in 1856 and 1858. Mr. Gorrell was, at first, opposed 
to secession, but afterwards changed his views. He was a 
lawyer by profession and a member of the Presbyterian 
Church in which he was a Ruling Elder for many years. 
He died August 4, 1875, 

Graham, William Alexander. t 

The unsuccessful nominee for the Presidency of the Conven- 
tion was William Alexander Graham, of Orange, a man of 
State and national reputation, who was strongly opposed to 
secession. His paternal ancestors were Scotch-Irish from 
County Down in Ireland. William A., son of General Joseph 
and Isabella (Davidson) Graham, was born at Vesuvius Fur- 
nace in Lincoln county, September 5, 1805. He was gradua- 
ted from the State University in 1824, sharing the highest 
honors with Matthias E. Manly. He read law under Judge 
Ruffin and was admitted to the bar in 1826. He located at 
Hillsboro and soon made a reputation, especially as an equity 

* Miss Charlotte Gorrell, Greensboro. 

t J. W. Graham, Hillsboro, U, N. C 1789-1889, 


lawyer. He represented the borough of Hillsboro in the House 
of Commons in 1833 and from then until the abolition of the 
borough system in 1835, after which he served two terms from 
the county in the same capacity. He was State Senator in 
1854 and again in 1862 ; United States Senator 1841-'44, and 
Governor of the State for two terms beginning with 1845. 
President Fillmore appointed him Secretary of the Navy which 
post he resigned upon being nominated for Vice-President on 
the Whig ticket with General Winfield Scott. In December, 
1863, Governor Graham was elected to the Confederate States 
Senate. Soon after the close of the war the legislature elect- 
ed him to the United States Senate, but he was not allowed 
to take his seat. He was elected to the Legislature, but, be- 
ing disfranchised, he did not serve. He also held other 
offices as follows: Trustee of the University thirty-four 
years ; Commissioner to settle the boundary dispute between 
Virginia and Maryland ; Trustee of the Peabody Fund ; Pres- 
ident of the Centennial Celebration of the Mecklenburg Dec- 
laration of Independence at Charlotte in 1875. In 1849' the 
University conferred upon him the degree of LL.D. While at- 
tending a meeting of the Virginia-Maryland boundary com- 
mission at Saratoga Springs, New York, he was attacked by 
disease of the heart and expired August 11, 1875. 

Graves, John Azariah.* 

The delegate from Caswell, bom four miles west of Yan- 
ceyville in 1822, was the son of Captain William and Annie 
(Lea) Graves. His progenitors were English. He read law 
under Calvin Graves and A. L. Yancey. He was a member 
of the upper house of the Legislature in 1854. He raised the 
first company of volunteers in his county and was elected its 
Captain. It was attached to the First Regiment North Caro- 
lina Volunteers, and was ordered into Northern Virginia. He 
therefore resigned from the Convention on May 23, 1861. 
Captain Graves was in active service at Bethel, Manassas and 
Chancellorsville together with all the battles around Rich- 
* Julius Johnston, Yauceyville. 


mond. He was taken prisoner at Gettysburji^ and carried to 
Johnson's Island where he died in February, 1864. 

Green, George.* 

The senior member from Craven was born in that county 
July 17, 1823, His parents, John and Charlotte (Harrison) 
Green, were of English descent. He received his license to 
practice law in 1846, and soon afterward became attorney for 
Jones county and later for Craven. He represented his native 
county in the House of Commons in 1854, and was a member 
of the secession committee of that body. In 1867 the Legis- 
lature appointed him Judge of the Craven County Criminal 
Court, which office he held until the passage of the '* Recon- 
struction Acts." In 1889 he was appointed Clerk of the Uni- 
ted States District Court for Eastern North Carolina. He was 
a Director and one of the organizers of the Atlantic and 
North Carolina Railroad Company, and for ten years its at- 
torney. He was also a Director and Attorney of a leading 
Bank at Newbern. Judge Green was a communicant of the 
Episcopal Church. His death occurred December 8, 1892. 

Greenlee, James Harvey, f 

James H. Greenlee, of McDowell, was born in the part of 
Burke which is now McDowell, in 1820. He is of English ex- 
traction. He has been twice married, first to his cousin. Hat- 
tie Greenlee, and later to Miss Morrison, a near relative of 
Mrs; Stonewall Jackson. He has never held any office except 
that of delegate to the Convention and Justice of the Peace. 
Mr. Greenlee was a red-hot secessionist. He is a large farmer 
and stock raiser. He is still living and is a member of the 
Presbyterian Church. 

Grimes, Bryan.! 

The subject of this sketch was one of the delegates from Pitt, 
*(Son), George Green, Newbern. 
fM. A. Newland; Rev. J. M. Greenlee, Marion. 

IMemorial Address by H. A. London; W. Demsie Grimes, Washing- 


the young-est child of Bryan and Nancy (Grist) Grimes, born at 
Grimesland, Pitt county/ about eight miles from Washington), 
on November 2, 1828. He received his preparation forcolleg-e 
at Bingham School, entered the University of North Carolina 
and was graduated in 1848. He was elected to the Conven- 
tion without his knowledge and without any opposition while 
he was absent in the Gulf States. Resigning his seat after 
the first session, he immediately went into active service be- 
coming Major of the Fourth North Carolina Regiment and in 
May, 1862, its Lieutenant-Colonel, and commanded the regi- 
ment at the battle of Williamsburg. On June 19, 1862, Colo- 
nel Anderson was promoted to Brigadier-General and Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Grimes was appointed to the command of the 
regiment. While the army was encamped in the marshes 
around Richmond, Colonel Grimes was stricken down with 
typhoid fever, which incapacitated him from service for some 
time. As soon as he had suflBciently regained his strength to 
enter active service again he was appointed Brigadier-General 
of Daniel's Brigade. In spite of his illness he was always at 
his post, and in recommending him for promotion General 
Anderson said: ** Although small in numbers. Colonel 
Grimes and his regiment are the keystone of my Brigade." 
General Grimes took part in the battles of Williamsburg and 
Seven Pines, in all other battles previous to the crossing of 
the Potomac, in the battles of the Maryland campaign, and in 
the last charge at Appomattox. He was always in the thick- 
est of the fight and his escapes from death were often almost 
miraculous, no less than seven horses being killed under him 
during his service. After the war he lived quietly on his 
farm in Pitt county until assassinated August 14, 1880, while 
returning home from Washington. 

Hamlin, Thomas Vestal.* 

Thomas V. Hamlin, of Surry, son of William Hamlin, was 
a native of the above county. He was a blacksmith and was 
considered the best in the county. He accumulated considera- 

* W. I#. Reece, Dobson; J. C. Buxton, Winston. 


ble property by working at this trade. He was Clerk of the 
Surry County Superior Court from 1852 to 1860, and after the 
war, was a Justice of the Peace for a number of years. He 
was a strong" secessionist. His death took place in 1887. 

Hargrove, Tazewell Lee.* 

Tazewell Lee Hargrove, of Granville, son of Israel West 
and Nancy (Hargrove) Hargrove was born at Townsville, N. 
C, in 1830. He was of English ancestry. He was graduated 
from Randolph-Macon College in 1848, then studied law, and 
received license to practice in 1850. He was Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel of the Fourth North Carolina Regiment. He defended 
the South Anna bridge with sixty-two men against one thous- 
and and five-hundred, holding it for four hours, at the end of 
which time he was captured and taken to Johnson's Island, 
where he was confined until the close of the war. Mr. Har- 
grove was a Democrat before the war and a Republican after- 
wards. He was a member of the House of Representatives 
from Granville in 1870, and Attorney-General 1873-77. He 
was a member of the committees to sckct the site for and to 
build the Oxford Orphan Asylum. He died December 16, 

Headen, James Hunter.! 

J. H. Headen, of Chatham, son of John and Margaret Head- 
en, was born in the above county in 1820. He entered the 
University of North Carolina in 1833 and received his degree 
four years later. He studied law under Chief Justice Rich- 
mond M. Pearson, practiced first at his old home near Hickory 
Mountain and then moved to Pittsboro. He was a member of 
the lower house of the General Assembly in 1854 and again 
in 1864. He was twice nominated for Congress, and once for 
the Supreme Bench, but was defeated. Before the war 
he was a Whig and opposed to secession, but submitted 
when he thought it inevitable. Mr. Headen was of Irish de- 

* J. Crawford Big-gs, Durham, 
t A. G. Headen, Pittst)oro. 


scent and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. 
He died January 25, 1894. 

Hearne, Eben.* 

The delegate from Stanly was born in the part of Mont- 
gomery county which has since become Stanly, where the town 
of Albemarle is now situated on December 27, 1805. His pa- 
rents, Nehemiah and Nancy(Almond) Hearne, were of English 
extraction, and came to this State from Baltimore, Maryland. 
He was elected Sheriff of the county before he was twenty- 
one, and held the ofi&ce for nineteen years. He was also Clerk 
and Master in Equity for a number of years, Mr. Hearne was 
a toerchant and farmer. He was an old line Whig but a 
strong secessionist after Lincoln's proclamation. His death 
occurred May 6, 1877. 

Henkel, Polycakp C. 

Rev. P. C. Henkel, of Catawba, wks born in Lincoln county, 
on August 20, 1830. His father was the Rev, David Henkel 
of German extraction. He entered the gospel ministry of the 
evangelical Lutheran Church early in life. He did not be- 
come a secessionist until Lincoln's call for troops to subdue 
the South. He went to the Convention against his will ; soon 
resigned and came home. The College of Catawba conferred 
the degree of Doctor of Divinity upon him. Dr. Henkel died 
with his harness on, September 26, 1889, and his remains were 
laid to rest in God's Acre at St. Peter's Church, Catawba 
county, where he was pastor at the time of his death. 

Hicks, WiLUAM.f 

■ Rev. William Hicks, of Haywood, was a native of Sullivan 
county, Tennessee, whither his ancestors had removed prior 
to the present century from Maryland. The father of the 
subject of this sketch settled on Holston River, not far from 

* Samuel J. Pemberton, Albemarle. 

t Rev. Wm. W. Hicks, Pearrisburg, Va, 


the present village of BluflF City where William was bom on 
November 11, 1811. His mother's maiden name was Willard. 
He was brought up to toil, which developed a man of stal- 
wart pro'portions and strength. His education was acquired 
solely by his own efforts ; he was a life-long student and a 
man of unusual education. At the time of his election to the 
Convention he was Principal of Richland Institute in con- 
junction with Rev. J. R. Long. He firmly believed in the 
right of secession, claiming that the Union was a voluntary 
compact which could be dissolved at the pleasure of the 

Mr. Hicks' chief work was as a minister in Western North 
Carolina, Eastern Tennesee, South Western Virginia, and in 
a portion of West Virginia. As a Presiding Elder he travel- 
led almost every circuit of the Holston Conference. He was 
admitted to Holston Conference in 1833, and preached twenty- 
three years, serving twenty-two different charges. In addi- 
tion to his pastoral duties, he at various times edited news- 
papers, and, while he was Presiding Elder of the Asheville 
District, established and edited a weekly newspaper called 
The Herald of Truth, published at Hendersonville. He died 
near Bluff City, Tennessee, in 1882. 

Hill, John.* 

John Hill, of Stokes, was the son of Robert and Martha 
(Halbert) Hill, born in this county April 9, 1791. Both of 
his parents were of English ancestry. He attended the Uni- 
versity of his native State in 1816. He was the acknowledged 
leader of the Democratic party in his section. He was a mem- 
ber of the House of Commons from 1819-'22 ; of the State Sen- 
ate in 1823, '25, 26, '30 and '31, and a member of Congress 
from 1839-'41. He was violently opposed to secession, look- 
ing upon it as the greatest calamity which could befall the 
, South. He often said that he would rather die than think of 
secession and separation, and if North Carolina should leave 
the Union he did not care to live another day. He voted for the 

♦Catalogue, U. N. C. 


Ordinance of Secession on May 20 and died May 25, 1861, in 
Raleigh of apoplexy. 

HoLDEN, William Woods.* 

The colleague of Messrs. Battle and Badger, of Wake, was 
William Woods Holden, a native of Orange county, born on 
November 24, 1818. His education was obtained at the **old 
field schools." At sixteen years of age he entered the em- 
ployment of Dennis Heart's printing establishment at Hills- 
boro and after two years' stay moved to Raleigh. He read law 
and received admission to the bar in 1841. In 1843 he pur- 
chased The Raleigh Standard^ which he conducted for twen- 
ty-five years. In 1846 he was elected to the House of Com- 
mons, and, during the administrations of Governors Bragg 
and Ellis, was a member of the Literary Board. He also 
served at different times as trustee of various institutions. 
On May 29, 1865, President Johnson appointed him Provis- 
ional Governor of North Carolina, and on November 7, 1865, 
Mr. Holden and Jonathan Worth were candidates for the 
Govemorship^and the latter was elected. In April, 1868, he 
was elected Governor, defeating Thomas S. Ashe by a major- 
ity of eighteen thousand six hundred and forty-one votes. 
On December 20, 1870, the House of Representatives present- 
ed to the Senate eight articles of impeachment against Gov- 
ernor Holdeti **for high crimes and misdemeanors." On De- 
cember 23, 1870, Chief Justice Pearson assumed the Presi- 
dent's chair in the Senate, and that body as a high court of 
impeachment began the trial. The counsel moved for a post- 
ponement,which was granted until January 23, 1871. The 
attorneys for the prosecution were Messrs. William A. Gra- 
ham, Thomas Bragg and A, S. Merrimon. The opposing 
counsel were Messrs. R. C, Badger, J. M. McCorkle, W. N. 
H. Smith, Nathaniel Boyden and Edward Conigland. On 
March 22, 1871, the Senate by the vote of two-thirds of its 
members pronounced him guilty of six out of eight of the 
charges brought againsthim. After his conviction he remov- 

*I>r. K. P. Battle; Wheeler's Reminiscences; Moore's History of 

N. C. 


ed to Washing-ton, where he edited The National Republican 
for a time, but returned to Raleig-h to become postmaster dur- 
ing- the administration of Grant. He died in Raleigh on 
March 1, 1892. 

Holmes, John Lyon.* 

J. L. Holmes, of New Hanover, was born in Wilming-ton,. 
November 4, 1826. His great-grandfather was Governor Ga- 
briel Holmes and his father, Gabriel Holmes, a wealthy rice 
planter. His mother was Elizabeth Marson. He was grad- 
uated from the University in 1846. He read law under James 
C. Dobbin, of Payetteville, and located in his native town. 
He was elected County Solicitor and declined re-election. He 
was elected to the Convention vice R. H. Cowan resig-ned. 
He was an orig-inal secessionist and was considered an excel- 
lent criminal lawyer. His health becoming- poor, he decided 
upon the advice of his physician to remove to Jacksonville, 
Fla., where he began to build up a large practice. During 
the summer he went to Saluda Gap for his health and while out 
driving there, his horse became frightened and ran away. He 
jumped from the vehicle and was instantly killed, September 
20, 1886. Mr. Holmes was Episcopalian in relig-ion. 

Houston, Hugh McCoMBs.f 

H. M. Houston, of Union, son of John and Elizabeth (Potts) 
Houston, was born in Mecklenburg, (now Union county), 
April 13. 1817. At twenty he was a clerk in the store of 
H. and K. Stewart at a place known as Cobum's Store, then 
on the great throroug-hfare between Charlotte and Cheraw, S. 
C. After two years his employers sent him to manage a store 
at Davis' Mine as a partner with themselves. In 1846 he re- 
moved to Monroe. He has held the following- public offices : 
Clerk of the Superior Court of Union county soon after its 
formation ; County Treasurer a number of years, and a Di- 
rector of the Wilmington, Charlotte and Rutherfordton Rail- 

* Hon. O. P. Meares, Wilming^ton. 

t Dowd's Prominent Living North Carolinians, 


road Company. He was President of the Peoples' Bank of 
Monroe from 1873 to 1899 and until 1899 was a Director of the 
Charlotte National Bank* for a number of years. Mr. Hous- 
ton was a strong Whig previous to the war and was also a 
strong Unionist. He is a member of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church South. He is now living in Monroe and has been 
retired from active business for a number of years. 

Houston, William James. t 

W. J. Houston, of Duplin, was born in that county in 
1828. His parents were Samuel and Elizabeth Houston, both 
of whom were of English descent. He attended Wake 
Forest College for a short time ; then went to Columbian Uni- 
versity, Washington, D. C, where he was graduated. He 
was a lawyer by profession ; a member of the State Senate in 
1854-'56 and '58 and a strong secessionist. He resigned from 
the Convention to go with the company, of which he was 
captain, in the First Regiment North Carolina Cavalry to 
Northern Virginia where he was killed in a skirmish in Lou- 
don county, January 21, 1865. 

Howard, George, t 

On September 22, 1829, at Tarboro, George Howard, of 
Edgecombe, was born. His father, of the same name, was 
a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and his mother of Caroline 
county, Virginia. He read law under Judge William H. Bat- 
tle and Hon. Samuel F. Phillips and received his Superior 
Court license in 1852. The same year he edited the Tarboro 
Southertier and was Solicitor from Greene county. He served 
as Reading Clerk of the House of Commons 1854- '59 and 
in 1855 he was the first County Solicitor for Wilson county. 
He was appointed Judge of the Superior Court in 1859 and the 
Legislature of 1860 elected him to this oflSce for life. Judge 
Howard was a member of the Convention of 1865 and of the 

* Monroe Enquirer J 1899. 

f Col. Thos. 8. Kenan, Raleigh, N. C. 

X Dowd's Prominent Living Nofth Carolinians; Moore's History. 


first Legislature after the war. He is a lawyer and a suc- 
cessful business man and is still living* in Tarboro. He is a 
communicant of the Presbyterian Church. 

Johnston, William,* 

The subject of this sketch was William Johnston, of Meck- 
lenburg", a native of Lincoln, in the part which is now Gaston, 
born in 1817. His paternal ancestors had settled on the banks 
of the Catawba about fifteen miles from Charlotte many 
years before the Revolutionary War and there had followed 
the vocation of farming. His father was Robert Johnston, 
Sr., of Scottish descent and his mother, Mary Reid, daughter 
of Captain John Reid, who was likewise of Scottish extrac- 
tion. He was graduated from the University of his native 
State in 1840 and immediately thereafter studied law under 
Judge Pearson and settled at Charlotte, where he soon at- 
tained success in his profession. He was elected President of 
the Charlotte and Statesville Plank Road and built twenty 
five miles of it to Mount Mourne, Iredell county, not expend- 
ing a dollar unnecessarily in its construction. In 1856, he 
assumed the Presidency of the Charlotte and South Carolina 
Rail Road Company, which was then in a very poor condition 
both as to finances and equipment, and in a short time he 
placed both on a sound basis. The construction of the Char- 
lotte, Columbia and Augusta Rail Road was due in a very 
large measure to his efforts, and it is doubtful whether any 
other road has ever been constructed so cheaply and under 
such adverse circumstances. In 1859, he began the Atlantic, 
Tennessee and Ohio Rail Road, which was completed to 
Statesville after the war. In 1866, he rebuilt sixty miles of 
the Charlotte and South Carolina Railway which Sherman's 
army had destroyed. When this was accomplished, he had 
built and rebuilt more miles of railway than any other man 
in the South without State aid. He resigned his seat in the 
Convention to accept the position of Commissary General of 
the State, which had been tendered to him by Governor Ellis. 
♦Dowd's Prominent Living North Carolinians, 


He was a Whig and a Union man, but finally favored seces- 
sion, believing that it could be peacefully obtained. In 1862, 
Col. Johnston was nominated for Governor of the State, but 
was defeated by Hon. Z, B. Vance. He served, for a number 
of years, as Mayor of Charlotte, during which time he did 
much for the improvement of the city. He was, for many 
years, a Trustee of the University. He died on May 20, 1896.* 

Johnston, Sidney Xenophon.I 

The delegate from Gaston was S. X. Johnston, brother of 
William Johnston, of Mecklenburg, who was born in Lincoln 
county, January 1, 1811. He was a grandson of Colonel 
James Johnston of the Revolution. He was graduated from 
the University of North Carolina in 1829 and in medicine 
from Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia. He was the 
first President of the Medical Association of Mecklenburg 
county ; a Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church and for 
many years, also Clerk of the Session. Dr. Johnston was an 
extensive practitioner, and also had large farming interests. 
His death occurred July 21, 1885. 

Jones, Edmund Walter. J 

E. W. Jones, of Caldwell, was born at Palmyra, the family 
homestead in Wilkes county, (now Caldwell), September 1, 
1811. His father. General Edmund Jones, was of Welsh an- 
cestry, and represented his county in the legislature eighteen 
years. His mother, Anne, daughter of William Lenoir, was 
descended from the Huguenots. His paternal ancestors first 
settled in Maryland on land granted them by Charles H. near 
Annapolis, Maryland. Thence in 1771 Edmund Jones came 
to North Carolina, and settled in the '* Happy Valley" of the 
Yadkin in Wilkes county. His son received his education at 
Bingham School and at the University of North Carolina, 
where he was graduated in 1833. Mr. Jones was a Whig 

♦Memorial Hall Inscriptions, U. N. C. 
fMrs. Woodcock, Charlotte; Catalogue, Dialectic Society. 
{Mrs. Edmund Jones, I^enoir. 


and thought that secession should be tried only as a last re- 
sort. In religion he was an Episcopalian. He was a member 
of the State Senate in 1842; of the Council of State in 1866 
and of the State Senate in 1868, but did not go to take his 
seat. He was also delegate to the State Centennial Conven- 
tion. He died August 6, 1876. 

Jones, Hamilton Chamberlain.* 

H, C. Jones, of Rowan, was born in Greenville county in the 
State of Virginia on August 23, 1798. His father, William 
Jones, removed to Stokes county in North Carolina during 
the infancy of his son, and died in 1800. His widow after- 
wards married Colonel James Martin, who had distinguished 
himself in the Revolutionary War, and was a man of promi- 
nence in his section. The subject of our sketch graduated at 
the University of North Carolina in 1818, in the class of 
President Polk. After his graduation he was Tutor of math- 
ematics for a year and then went to New Berne where he 
taught school, and also read law under Judge Gaston. After 
being licensed to practice he removed to Salisbury where he 
founded the Carolina Watchman in 1828 which was Anti- 
Jackson and Whig in politics and enjoyed an extensive circu- 
lation. He entered public life as a member of the House of 
Commons in 1827 and was returned in 1828, 1838, and in 1840, 
during which year he was elected State Solicitor for his 
judicial district and was re-elected in 1844. In 1840, he sold 
the Watchman to Bruner and Pendleton. After the death of 
Perrin Busbee, he was, for a number of years, Reporter of 
the decisions of the Supreme Court. He was the reputed author 
of ** Cousin Sally Dillard." and other stories, which, in his 
younger days, he often recited with inimitable humor at 
social gatherings. He died in Morganton at the residence 
of his son-in-law. Dr. Samuel Tate, on September 10, 1868. 

Jones, John BoNNEY.f 

J. B. Jones, of Currituck, succeeded Henry M. Shaw resign- 

* North Carolina University Magazine^ Vol. xiii., April 1893, 
tEzekiel Gilman, Coiujock; P. M. Morgan, Shawboro; H. B. Ansell, 
Knott*s Island. 


ed. He was a native of Currituck, born on Knott's Island, 
July 25, 17%. His parents were Malachi and Lydia (White) 
Jones. His extraction was Welsh. He was a farmer and a 
politician. He was a member of the House of Commons in 
1831, '32, '33, '34, '40, '46, and of the State Senate in 1854 
and '56. He was a Justice of the Peace and for many years 
Chairman of the County Court. He was a Custom House 
oflScer for a number of years and a Colonel of the State Mili- 
tia. He was a member of the Methodist Church and an out 
and out secessionist. He died Aug-ust 25, 1865. 


A. H. Joyce, of Stokes, was the successor of John Hill, who 
died during the first session of the Convention. He was born 
in Stokes county on February 23, 1827. His parents were 
Thomas and Esther Joyce, both of Irish extraction. He was 
educated at Union Institute in Randolph county, and at Jack- 
sonville Academy in Floyd county, Virginia. He is a lawyer 
by profession. He was Solicitor for Stokes county for eight 
years beg'inning' with 1852. He took his seat in the Conven- 
tion on June 11, 1861., He was also adeleg'ate to the Conven- 
tion of 1865. He was an elector on the Blaine ticket in the Fifth 
Congressional District in 1884 and in the same district in 1896 
on the McKinley and Hobart ticket. He never endorsed the 
policy of secession as advocated by the red-hot secessionists, 
but believed that any state had a legal right to secede. He 
is a member of the Presbyterian Church and lives at Danbury. 

Kelly, NEiLL.f 

Neill Kelly succeeded Thomas D. McDowell resigned. He 
was the son of James and Mary (Currie) Kelly. He was 
sprung from g-ood Scotch ancestry. He was a teacher in 
early life and afterwards a farmer. Mr. Kelly was a Jus- 
tice of the Peace a greater part of his life ; Chairman of the 
County Court for a number of years ; Colonel of the Bladen 

♦Self, Danbui^. 

f J. D. Clarke, Clarktoij. 


County militia, and for a number of years previous to his 
death an Elder in Brown Marsh Presbyterian Church. He 
was opposed to secession until Lincoln's call for troops. He 
fell a victim to consumption, in 1864. 

KiTTRELL, Benjamin Anderson.* 

B. A. Kittrell, of Davidson, son of Benjamin and Eliza 
Kittrell, was born in Granville county, June 17, 1831. He at- 
tended the University of North Carolina during the sessions of 
1848-'50 ; then read law under Chief Justice Pearson and in 
1853 located in Lexington. In politics he was a Whig. Mr. 
Kittrell was elected to the Convention as an opponent of 
secession, though he believed in the right of revolution. He 
died June 6, 1865. 

Lander, Wii^uam.! 

William Lander, of Lincoln, was a native of Tiparo, Ire- 
land, born May 9, 1817. His parents, Samuel and Eliza Ann 
(Miller) Lander emigrated to America when their son was 
about eight years old. He received his education at the 
Cokesberry (S. C. ) Methodist School. He read law ; settled 
in Lincolnton and soon built up a large practice. He was a 
member of the House of Commons in 1852 ; Solicitor of his 
circuit from 1852-'64. At the end of the first session of the 
Convention he resigned his seat to go to the Confederate Con- 
gress. Mr. Lander was a pronounced secessionist and an 
ardent Democrat. At the close of the war he resumed his 
practice in Lincolnton where he died January 6, 1868. 

Leak, James Augustus, t 

J. A. Leak, of Anson, son of William and Ann (Wall) Leak, 
was born in Richmond county on August 12, 1822. He was 
of English extraction. He was graduated from the State 
University in 1843. Mr. Leak was a farmer ; President of 

*F. M. Robbins, Lexington; Mrs. Letty K. Lassiter, Henderson. 
tRev. Samuel Lander, Williamston, S. C. 
^J. A. Leak, Wadesborough. 


the Bank of Wadesborough, and later of the New Hanover 
Branch Bank at Wadesborough at the time of his death, 
March 26, 1892. He represented Anson in the House of Rep- 
resentatives in 1858 and in the Senate in 1885. He was a 
member of Governor Jarvis' staff. He was not able to be 
present the day the Ordinance of Secession passed, but when 
he appeared, he asked to be recorded as voting for it. Mr. 
Leak was a Whig. 

Leak, Wai^ter Francis.* 

The delegate from Richmond was closely related to J. A. 
Leak of Anson. He was born March 26, 1799, in Richmond 
county. His great-grandfather and great-grandmother on 
the paternal side came from England on the "May Flower," 
and were afterwards married. His parents were Watley and 
Judith (Mask) Leak. He was a student of the University 
of North Carolina 1815-'18. He was a laru^e farmer and a 
lawyer of some prominence. In politics he was a Democrat, 
and in religion a Methodist. Mr. Leak held the following 
public offices : Member of the House of Commons 1821 and 
'31 ; State Senator in 1832 ; delegate to the Convention of 
1835; Presidential Elector in 1852 and Trustee of the Univer- 
sity twenty years. He was a strcmg secessionist. He was a 
member of the National Democratic Convention at Charleston 
in 1860. He died April 28, 1879. 

Lindsay, Daniel McDoNAij).t 

Upon the resignation of John B. Jones, of Currituck, Daniel 
McDonald Lindsay was elected to fill the vacancy. He was 
the son of Jonathan and Jane B. (McDcmaldj Lindsay, born 
April 27, 1836 in Currituck county. He attended Bingham 
School at Oaks, Orange county. Before the war he was a 
politician and a man of some means. He was State Senator 
in 1862 and '64. He fought in the war, being Captain of Com- 
pany L, Seventeenth North Carolina Regiment. Just after 

♦W. F. L. Steele, Rockingham. 
fSelf, Washington, D. C. 


the war he was County Surveyor. In 1876 he was a candi- 
date for Congress, but was defeated by J. J. Yates. Mr. 
Lindsay is now living in Washington, D. C, and is editor 
and proprietor of "The Fourth Class Post Master," a journal 
devoted to the interests of the post masters, indicated by the 

Long, William John.* 

The third son of John and Sabra (Ramsay) Long was Wil- 
liam John Long, of Randolph, born in the extreme south east- 
em corner of this county in the *' Long's Mill Neigborhood," 
July 1, 1815. His father's ancestors came from Queen county, 
Pennsylvania to Loudon county, Virginia; thence to North 
Carolina. He was an alumnus of the University of North 
Carolina, being graduated in 1838.t He was licensed to prac- 
tice law in 1841 and soon commanded a large practice in Ran- 
dolph and adjoining counties. Mr. Long was a Henry Clay 
Whig ; a supporter of Bell and Everett, and an advocate of the 
preservation of the Union, but when *' the die was cast," he 
went with his people. He was a member of the House of 
Commons in 18S2. In 1882 he removed to Minneapolis, Minn- 
esota, where he died October 29, of the same year. 

Lyon, Thomas Beverly. t 

T. B. Lyon, the successor of A. W. Venable, who resigned 
when elected to the Confederate Congress, was born in the 
county which he represented in the Convention, Granville, 
November 24, 1821. His father, Elkanah Lyon, was of 
French origin and his mother, nee Celia Fleming, was of Eng- 
lish origin. He was a farmer and leaf tobacco dealer until 
1872 when he moved to Durham and became a tobacco manu- 
facturer. In 1844 he was an elector on the James K. Polk 
ticket. In 1856 he was nominated for a seat in Ihe legislature 
and elected, and re-elected in 18S8. Mr. Lyon has been re- 

*Mi8s Jane F. Long, Minneapolis, Minn. 
\U.N. €,,1789-1889, 
^Self, Durham. 


tired from business for several years and is now living in 
Durham. In regard to his opinion about secession, Mr. Lyon 
said : "The right of secession under the constitution the most 
learned in the law could not and would not deny. In the fed- 
eration of States each reserved distinct rights that the gen- 
eral government could not override. In this terrible ordeal I 
stood with my people an<f favored secession. I believed then 
and believe now that it was right." He is a member of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, South. 

McDowell, Joseph Alberta.* 

Dr. J. A. McDowell, of Madison, the son of James Moffit 
and Margaret (Erwin) McDowell, of Pleasant Garden in that 
part of Burke which is now McDowell county, and the grand- 
son of Major Joseph McDowell, who was wounded at King's 
Mountain, was bom November 20, 1821. He read medicine 
under Doctor Hardy in 1842 and afterwards was graduated 
with honor from the Medical College at Charleston, South 
Carolina. His ancestors were Presbyterians and came into 
Northern Ireland during the protectorate of Cromwell. He 
was a physician of some eminence in his section and Colonel 
of the Sixtieth Regiment North Carolina Troops in the Con- 
federate Army. He was a Whig in politics, and originally 
opposed to secession. He died in Asheville on March 10, 1875. 

McDowell, John CALHOuN.f 

The brother of the above was John Calhoun McDowell, of 
Burke, named for ** Hunting John" McDowell of Revolution- 
ary fame and John C. Calhoun. He was graduated from the 
Medical College of South Carolina at Charleston in 1847 and 
located in Morganton. He disliked public office and ran for 
the Convention against his will, defeating Colonel B. S. 
Gaither. He had an exceptionally large family connection 
all of whom were Whigs while he was a staunch Democrat. 

♦Hon. J. W. Wilson, Morg^anton; J. A. Gamewell, Spartanburg, S. C. 
fHon. J. W. Wilson, Morganton. 


He was opposed to secession. He was born July 7, 1825 and 
died Augfust 2, 1876. 

McDowell, Thomas David Smith.* 
T. D. S. McDowell, of Bladen, son of Dr. Alexander Mc- 
Dowell, was born in Bladen, January 4, 1823, and was of 
Scotch extraction. He was educated at Donaldson Academy 
and at the University of North Carolina where he was gradu- 
ated in 1843. He was a member of the House of Commons 
from 1846-'50 ; State Senator 1854-'58 ; and a member of the 
Confederate Congress. He received on the second "ballot for 
the latter place fifty-three votes to forty-nine for W. F. Leak 
and one for Walter L. Steele. He resigned his seat in the 
Convention on June 22, 1861. Mr. McDowell was a planter. 
He died May 1, 1898. Wheeler says the he was one of the 
purest men in public and private life that he ever knew. He 
was a member of the Presbyterian Church. 


M. J. McDuffie, of Cumberland, who succeeded Warren Wins- 
low resigned, was **the artificer of his own fortune." He 
was born a few miles north of Fayetteville, and at an early 
age was apprenticed to A. A. McKeithan, a well-known car- 
riage and harness maker, of Fayetteville, to learn the harness 
trade. He showed such a decided fondness for books that 
Mr. McKeithan released him from his indenture, and advised 
and aided him to secure an education. He entered the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina and was graduated in 1851 deliver- 
ing his graduating oration on *' Flora McDonald. "J After 
being graduated, he studied law under Judge Jesse G. Shei> 
herd and in 1854 represented his county in the legislature. 
He was a Democrat and a secessionist. He left Fayettevile 
after the war, migrating to Texas, where he died in 1876. 

McNeill, Archibald Stewart. S 

A. S. McNeill was born in the county of Cumberland, in the 

♦Wheeler's Reminiscences; U, N. C. Mat^azittc^ June 1898. 

fHon. R. P. Buxton. Fayetteville. XC'oxn, Exercises, 1851, U. N. C. 

JMiss Mildred McNeill, Summerville. 


part which is now Harnett, on a farm on the Cape Fear River, 
on the old stage road from Raleigh to Fayetteville, twenty- 
three miles above Fayetteville and thirty-three from Raleigh. 
The date of his birth was March 5, 1805. His father was 
Neill McNeill, the son of Archibald (Band) McNeill who em- 
igrated from Scotland before the American Revolution ; was 
a surveyor and acquired a large body of land in Cumberland — 
chiefly through grants from George HI. His paternal grand- 
mother was Janet Smith, a native of Scotland, and his mother, 
Grisella Stewart was also from Scotland, so that by both 
descent and character, he was a full-blooded Scotchman. A. 
S. McNeill became a farmer and also a merchant to some ex- 
tent. He was almost continuously in the service of his 
county as a member of the Board of County Commissioners, 
and this together with his membership in the Convention 
were his only public ofl&ces. He was elected to the Conven- 
tion by a large majority and although a Whig and opposed to 
secession, he finally voted for it and afterwards gave to the 
cause his strongest support. He was reared in the strict 
Presbyterian faith, which he always revered, but never united 
with the visible church. He died on September 21, 1876 at 
his home, McNeill's Ferry on Cape Fear River. 

McNeill. David.* 

David McNeill, of Cumberland, was born in the Bluif Church 
Neighborhood of Cumberland on October 4, 1798. His 
parents were James and Catherine (McAlister) McNeill. 
Notwithstanding the fact that Cumberland was largely Dem- 
ocratic and he was a Whig, nevertheless on account of his 
personal popularity and the clan:iishness of the Scotch, Mr. 
McNeill, when a candidate, nearly always carried the county. 
He represented it in the legisln ure in 1820, '31, '32, '33, '34 
and '35. He was Chairman of tl.c County Court several years 
and a Justice of the Peace forty- five years. Mr. McNeill was 
a firm believer in the right of secession and that the South 
had just cause to withdraw. He was a farmer. He died 
♦R. P. Buxton, FayetteviHe ; Mrs. L. A. Page, Aberdeen. 


March 2, 1871, and was buried in the cemetery at the Bluflf 
Presbyterian Church, in which he had been a Ruling Elder 
for forty years. 

Mann, Edward L.* 

The delegate from Hyde was Edward L. Mann, the son of 
Joseph and Sarah Mann, bom on February 25, 1825 His 
parents died when he was very young, and he had only such 
educational advantages as were obtainable in the schools in 
his immediate neighborhood, and he was not permitted to 
avail himself of these privileges regularly. He was a farmer 
and a successful one, and was also, for several years, a mer- 
chant, but eventually devoted himself entirely to the more 
congenial occupation — farming. He took an active interest 
in politics and previous to the war was a Whig and after- 
wards a Democrat. He represented his native county in the 
House of Commons in 1862 and the district one term in the 
State Senate in 1864. He was not an original secessionist 
and yielded only when there seemed to be no other alterna- 
tive. He died January 11, 1894. 

Manning, John, Jr.* 

John Manning, Jr., of Chatham, was born in Edenton on 
July 30, 1830. His parents were John and Tamar (Leary) 
Manning. He attended the EMenton Academy, Norfolk Mil- 
itary Academy, and the University of North Carolina where 
he was graduated in 1850 with high honors, and immediate- 
ly after graduation, became Purser's Clerk on the United 
States brig, Bainbridge, of which his father was Captain 
and served in this capacity during the vessel's cruise along 
the eastern coast of South America. After completing this 
voyage, he studied law under John H. Haughton of Pittsboro 
— a relative of his — and on being admitted to the bar, be- 
came associated with him in practice. He was opposed to 
secession; voted for the Badger Ordinance, and when it failed, 

*J. S. Mann, Middleton. 

^Univefsity Magazine^ Vol. xvi. \.Hellenian^ 1898. 


voted to submit the Ordinance of Secession to the people of 
the State for ratification.* He voluntered in the first com- 
pany formed for the Civil War in Chatham and was elected 
its First Lieutenant and was later Commissioned Adjutant of 
the Fifteenth Regiment North Carolina Volunteers, but in 
October 1861, Judge Biggs nominated, and President Davis 
appointed him Receiver of Claims for the Confederate States, 
whereupon he resigned his commission as Adjutant. In 
1871, he was a member of Congress from the Fourth District ; 
in 1875, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, and in 
1881, a member of the General Assembly, in which he intro- 
duced the bill for the first regular annual appropriation to 
the University of North Carolina, The General Assembly 
appointed him with W. T. Dortch and John S, Henderson, 
a commission to codify and revise the Statute Laws of North 
Carolina, which commission produced the Code of 1883, 
now in use in this State, The positions of Superior Court 
Judge, and Secretary of State, tendered to him by Governor 
Jarvis, were declined. In 1882, the University conferred 
upon him the degree of LL.D. In 1881, the Trustees elected 
him Professor of Law in the University, and during his ser- 
vice of nearly eighteen years in this chair, the number of 
students increased ten fold. His success as a teacher is like- 
wise attested by the men who studied under him, all of whom 
loved him and praised him. His " Commentaries on First 
Blackstone," which were in press at the time of his death-Feb- 
ruary 12, 1899, have elicited favorable mention and are now 
used as a text-book in the University. Dr. Manning was a 
consecrated and consistent christian — a member of the Epis- 
copal Church. 

Me ARES, Thomas Davis, t 

T. D. Meares, of Brunswick, ton of William B. and Catha- 
rine G. (Davis) Meares was born July 27, 1818. His mother 
was Catharine, the daughter of General Thomas Davis of 

♦Dr. Kemp P. Battle. 

fT. D. Meares, Wilmington. 


Fayetteville. He was of Scotch and English ancestry. He 
was graduated at the State University in 1839. He entered 
the legal profession, but after practising successfully for 
some years, commenced rice planting and gradually aban- 
doned law. He was married, in 1845, to Jane, daughter of 
Governor James Iredell of Raleigh. Mr. Meares was a mem- 
ber of the legislature of 1856 and of the following session; 
and an Aid-de-camp on the staff of Governor William A. 
Graham. He was a Whig in politics and opposed secession 
until Lincoln's proclamation calling for troops, when he be- 
came convinced of the necessity of taking one side or the 
other, and went with his people. He resumed the practice of 
law after the war and died December 20, 1881. In religion, 
Mr. Meares was an Episcopalian.* 

Mebane, Giles,! 

The founder and the first President of the Dialectic Society 
of the University of North Carolina was James Mebane whose 
son, Giles, was the colleague of Thomas Ruffin, of Alamance, 
in the Convention. The Mebanes emigrated to America from 
the North of Ireland and settled in Pennsylvania, whence 
Alexander Mebane, the Elder, removed to Hawfields in Orange 
county prior to the Revolution. His grandson, James mar- 
ried Elizabeth, oply daughter of William Kinchen and one of 
their offspring was Giles Mebane, born in the part of Orange 
which is now Alamance on January 25, 1809. His prepara- 
tory education was received under the tutelage of William 
Bingham, Senior, whom he assisted in teaching. Entering 
the University of North Carolina, he was graduated with the 
class of 1831, and was a tutor in the institution the year after 
his graduation, after which he read law under Chief Justice 
Ruffin. His first appearance in public life was made in 1844 
as a member of the House of Commons from Orange, to 
which position he was returned in 1846 and in 1848. During 
the session of 1848, he introduced the bill to create the county 

♦James Sprunt, Esq., Wilmington. 
fSelf, Milton. 


of Alamance from Orange, giving the name to both the 
county and the county site. In 1854, the new county sent 
him as one of its first representatives to the House of Com- 
mons and re-elected him in 1860. As a member of the Commit- 
tee on Federal Relations of that body, he signed on December 10, 
1860, the minority report, protesting against voting on the ques- 
tion of calling a convention on February 7, 1861.* He was 
Senator from Alamance and Randolph in 1862 and 1864, and 
during both terms was President of that body, and was a 
member of the Constitutional Convention of 1865. In 1878, 
the Twentieth Senatorial District embracing the counties of 
Orange, Caswell and Person, sent him to the Senate, in which 
he introduced the bill to compromise and settle the indebted- 
ness of the State which was an effective agent in replacing the 
credit of North Carolina on a sound basis. f He succeeded 
Chief Justice Ruffin as Chairman of the County Court of Ala- 
mance. Mr. Mebane was an ardent supporter of the building 
of the North Carolina Railroad, being a member of the House 
of Commons at the time when this measure passed by the 
vote of the Speaker — Calvin Graves. To prevent the forfei- 
ture of the charter by lack of subscriptions, he subscribed 
more stock than he was worth, and took a contract and built 
six miles of the road through Orange county. He was a Di- 
rector of this road for eighteen years. He was a Trustee of 
the University for a number of years and after the death of 
Dr. A. J. DeRosset, was the ** oldest living graduate" of the 
institution. J In politics, Mr. Mebane was, before the war, a 
Whig, and afterwards a Democrat, and was not in favor of 
secession until our neighboring states seceded and North Car- 
olina seemed in imminent danger of being the battle-field of 
the war, after which the Southern cause received his strong- 
est support. In religion, he was a devoted Presbyterian, 
being a member of this denomination for nearly sixty years, 
and a Ruling Elder in his church, many years. In 1868, he 
removed to Caswell county where he died on June 3, 1899. § 

♦Moore's History, Vol. ii. fl^fiTislative Handbook, 1879. 

X University Magazine y Vol. xv. {Julius Johnston, Yancey ville 

62 jambs sprunt historical. monographs 

Merritt, Lbonidas John.* 

L. J. Merritt, of Chatham, was bom in that county on 
June 8, tSSO. His father was William Merritt and his moth- 
er, a sister of Grovemor Abram Rencher. He was prepared 
for college under William J. Bingham and was graduated 
from the State University with high honors in 1854. After 
reading law under Chief Justice Pearson he located in Pitts- 
boro and was soon afterwards elected Clerk and Master in 
EJquity. He next appeared in public life as a delegate to the 
Secession Convention, but as soon as the Chatham Rifles was 
organised, he enlisted ; was made lieutenant and went to the 
front. He was killed in the desperate charge of Magruder at 
Malvern Hill in 1862. 

MiCHAL, Gborgk Washington, t 

The subject of this sketch was bom in Rutherfordton, N. 
C, October 19, 1825, and died in Hickory, N. C, January 11, 
1892. His father, Jacob Michal, who came to North Carolina 
from Pennsylvania, and his mother, Catharine Ramsour of 
Lincoln county, were both of German extraction. In his 
early youth, he decided upon medicine as his chosen profes- 
sion, and entered the Medical College at Charleston, South 
Carolina, but later went to the University of Pennsylvania 
where he was graduated at the age of twenty one. Com- 
mencing to practice in Marion, N. C, he continued there un- 
til 1861 when he became Surgeon of the Sixteenth North 
Carolina Regiment. While thus employed, he was elected to 
the Convention from Rutherford county to fill • the vacancy 
caused by the resignation of Jason H. Carson, taking his seat 
January 21, 1862. In 1865, he removed from Marion to New- 
ton and here practiced his profession for eight years when, 
failing health forced him to abandon it for other pursuits. 
Dr. Michal was always a conservative in politics and deplored 
secession even when he recognised it as the last resort for the 
State. In his early life, he joined the Methodist Episcopal 

♦A. H. Merritt, Pittsboro. 

tJ. McD. Michal, Hickory ; Sketch by Col. R. B. Davis, Wilmingrton. 


Church, South, but later embraced the viewd of the Episcopal 

Miller, William John Twitty.* 

Cleveland county sent two physicians to the Convention. 
They were W. J. T. Miller and James Wright Tracy. Wil- 
liam John Twitty Miller, son of John and Susan (Twitty) 
Miller, was born in Rutherford county, five miles west of 
Rutherford, on April 12, 180S. He was of Scotch-Irish de- 
scent. After being" graduated in medicine at Transylvania 
University, Lexington, Kentucky, he settled on Broad River 
in Rutherford (now Cleveland county), six miles from Shel- 
by. Dr. Miller represented Rutherford county in the State 
Senate in 1842, and in the House of Commons in 1836, '38 and 
'40 ; Cleveland and Rutherford in the Senate in 1848 ; Cleve- 
land in 1864, and Cleveland and Gaston in 1872. He was a 
Whig before the war and voted for Bell and Everett in 1860. 
He was opposed to secession until Lincoln called for troops to 
coerce the South, when he at once became a secessionist and a 
loyal supporter of the Confederate Government. For nearly 
fifty years, he was an active layman in the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church, South, and a steward of his church for thirty-nine 
years. He served the church at various times, as district 
steward, secretary of the Quarterly Conference, lay delegate 
to the Annual Conference, and as delegate to the Southern 
Methodist Conference in Atlanta in May 1878. He died in 
Shelby on the 7th of December 1886. 

Mitchell, Anderson, t 

Judge Mitchell, of Iredell, was born in Caswell county, June 
13, 1800. He was of Scotch-Irish descent. He attended 
Bingham's School and the University of North Carolina, 
where he was graduated in 1822 and was a tutor therein 
1821-22. He received the degree of Master of Arts from the 
University in 1824. He read law under Chief Justice Hend- 

♦Dr. J. F. MiUer, Goldsboro. 

f Prof . D. Matt Thompson; Statesville ; Wheeler's Reminiscences. 


erson in Granville county. He removed to Wilkes and repre- 
sented that county in the State Senate in 1840, '52 and '54. 
In 1842, he was elected to Congress serving one term. In 
1847, he was elected Judge of the Tenth Judicial District. 
In 1865, he was elected Judge of the Superior Court but was 
not allowed to serve and in 1873 Judge of the Tenth Judicial 
District. He was opposed to secession, Previous to the war 
he removed to Statesville, where he continued to reside until 
his death on December 24, 1876. 

Moody, John Mason.* 

J. M. Moody, of Northampton, son of William Moody, a na- 
tive of that county, was born March 21, 1816, near Pleasant 
Hill. His mother was Mary, a daughter of John Mason of 
Virginia. His extraction, both paternal and maternal, was 
English. Original deeds and grants from George II. to lands 
in North Carolina are still in possession of the Moody family. 
He received the greater part of his education at Bingham 
School. He had considerable farming interests in Northamp- 
ton and also in Mississippi. Mr. Moody was a member of 
the State Senate in 1844 and '46, an ardent secessionist, and 
a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He 
died June 2, 1877. 

MosELKY, Robert Ai^GERNON.f 

R. A, Moseley, of Sampson, son of John W. and Dorcas 
(Garland) Moseley, was born at Oak Grove on Cedar Run in 
the above county on October 25, 1831. He was of English 
ancestry. He was educated at Spring Dale Academy. He 
was Brigadier-General of the Sixth Brigade of the North 
Carolina Militia; Lieutenant of the Sampson Rangers, and 
went with them to Fort Johnson, but soon resigfned on ac- 
count of feeble health. Mr. Moseley was opposed to secession 
until Lincoln called on the South for troops. He was, for the 
greater part of his life, a merchant in Clinton. He was a 

*Dr. H. G. Leigh, Petersburg, Va. 
fRev. A. Lf Phillips, Tuscaloosa, Ala. 


member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He died 
a victim to consumption on May 18, 1866, 


A. J. Murrill, of Onslow, the successor of Dr. E. W, Ward 
in the Convention, was born in Onslow on May 20, 1819. He 
was the son of John and Mary Ann (Johnston) Murrill, both 
of whom were of English extraction. He was a farmer. He 
was a magistrate for many years, and served as Chairman of 
the Board of County Commissioners several times: in the 
State Senate in 1862, and in the House in 1864 and ^6. He 
was a secessionist. His death occurred July 4, 1889. 

Myers, Albbrt.! 

Albert Myers, of Anson, born April 20, 1828, was the 
youngest son of Marmaduke and Rebecca Myers both of whom 
were of English descent. He led his class in the College of 
Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. Receiving his 
degree in 1847, he located in his native county. He was a 
member of the State Senate from Anson and Union in 1856. 
In politics Dr. Myers was a Whig and like many others, op- 
posed secession until Lincoln's proclamation calling on the 
South for troops. In religion he was an Episcopalian. He 
died in 1884. 

Osborne, James Walker.J 

Judge Osborne, of Mecklenburg, was born in Salisbury on 
December 25, 1811. The Osbornes originally settled in New 
Jersey whence Alexander Osborne, the founder of the line in 
North Carolina, came in 1755 and settled in Rowan county. 
His father was Edwin Jay Osborne and his mother, Harriet, 
daughter bf Captain John Walker, of Wilmington. He was 

*Dr. E. W. Ward, Pollocksville ; Wm. Murrill, Catharine Lake. 
tCol. H. C. Jones, Charlotte. 

tWheeler*s Reminiscences; Judge Schenck's Sketches of the Con- 


graduated from the State University in 1830 ; then studied 
law with William A. Graham in Hillsboroug"h and was licensed 
in 1833. He was Presidential Elector-at-large in the Clay 
campaign and on the Seymour and Blair ticket. He was 
Superintendent of the Charlotte Mint under Fillmore. In 1859 
Governor Ellis appointed him to fill a vacant judgeship and 
the legislature in 1860 confirmed the choice by electing him 
to the same ofl&ce. In politics, Judge Osborne was a StateV 
right Democrat, having left the Whig party, because he 
thought it was not prompt enough to see and resist the dan- 
gers threatening the South. Judge Osborne was, for nearly 
twenty years, a Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church. 
At the time of his death, August 11, 1896, he was State Sen- 
ator from Mecklenburg. 

Patterson, Rufus Lknotr,* 

R. L. Patterson, of Forsyth, was born June 22, 1830 at 
Palmyra in the *' Happy Valley" of the Yadkin in Wilkes 
county. He was the oldest son of Samuel F. Patterson. His 
mother was a daughter of General Edmund and Anne (Le- 
noir) Jones and a sister of Edmund Jones of Wilkes, later of 
Caldwell. He was graduated from the University of North 
Carolina in 1851. He was a lawyer by profession. He was 
Chairman of the County Court of Forsyth from 1855-'60; 
several times Mayor of Salem ; a member of the Convention 
of 1865 and a Trustee of the University. He went to the 
Convention of 1861 in the vain hope of being able to do some- 
thing to dispel the war clouds then hovering over the State. 
After the war he was largely engaged in manufacturing and 
mercantile pursuits. Mr. Patterson died July 15, 1879. 

Penland, Milton PiNCKEY.f 

M. P. Penland, of Yancey, born in Burke county on Decem- 
ber 7, 1813, was the son of Henry and Elizabeth (Branch) 

♦Lindsay Patterson, Raleighj 
tW. H. Penland, AsheviUe. 


Penland. He was of Scotch-Irish extraction. He served as 
Clerk and Master in Equity of Yancey for a number of years, 
but usually refused political preferment. He was a conser- 
vative man in politics, but a pronounced secessionist after 
the election of Lincoln. He was a merchant. He died June 
2, 1880. Mr. Penland has been called: **A pioneer of the 
mountain country ; a type of its best citizenship." 

Pkttigrew, William Shbpard.* 

Rev. W. S. Pettigrew, of Washington, son of Ebenezer and 
grandson of Rev. Charles Pettigrew, the first bishop-elect of 
the Episcopal Church in North Carolina; and Anne Blount, 
daughter of William Shepard, of New Berne, was born on 
Bonarva plantation on Lake Scuppernong in Tyrrell county 
on October 3, 1818. The Pettigrews came originally from 
France and were Huguenots. One branch emigrated to Scot- 
land and when a member of this branch, James, joined the 
army of William of Orange, he was made an officer and for mer- 
itorious conduct was given land in County Tyrone, Ireland. 
Descendants of his moved to America. The subject of our 
sketch attended Hillsborough Academy, of which William J. 
Bingham was then principal, and the University of North 
Carolina from 1834-'37. In 1838 he settled on Belgrade plan- 
tation which had been given to him by his father. He was a 
zealous Whig, not an original secessionist, but became one 
after Lincoln's proclamation. In 1864 he joined the Senior 
Reserves of Edgecombe county, his own county being in the 
hands of the enemy. He was admitted into the ministry of 
the Episcopal Church in Wilmington on January 31, 1869, and 
since then has preached at various churches in Washington, 
Granville, Vance and Warren counties, extending over a pe- 
iod of more than thirty years. He is now living in Ridgeway. 


Caleb Phifer, of Cabarrus, son of John and Esther (Fulen- 

*Self, Ridgeway L<ake. 
f Wheeler's Beminiscenses. 


wider) Phifer, was bom at Cold Water, Cabarrus county, on 
June 16, 1810, He was sprung- from very old German families 
on both sides. He was a merchant and a planter. He served 
as a member of the House of Commons in 1844 and as a di- 
rector of the North Carolina Railroad Company. Mr. Phifer 
was a member of the German Reformed Church and died 
March 11, 1878. 

Rayner, KIenneth.* 

Kenneth RajTier, of Hertford, was born in Bertie county in 
1818. His father. Rev. Amos Rayner, who was a Baptist 
minister and had been a soldier of the Revolution, married a 
Mrs. Williams, who had considerable wealth. He was edu- 
cated at the Tarboro Academy ; studied law under Chief Jus- 
tice Ruffin, but never practiced much^as he preferred the more 
active life of a politician. He was the young-est member of 
the Convention of 1835,in which he made a strong- speech in 
favor of abolishing- the **Relig-ious Tests for Office." He 
represented Hertford in the House of Commons in 1836, '38, 
'46, '48 and '50, and in the State Senate in 1854. He was a 
member of Congress from 1839 to '45, After the termination of 
the war he removed to Mississippi. He was appointed Judge 
of the *' Alabama Claims" and was nominated for the Su- 
preme Bench of Mississippi. In politics Mr. Rayner was a 
Whig and a Secessionistj# On March 4, 1884, Mr. Rayner 
died in Washington while occupying- the position of Solicitor 
of the Treasury of the United States. 

Rhodes, James Thomas.! 

J. T. Rhodes, of Duplin, was a native of that county, born 
March 24, 1806. His parents were James and Mary (Farrior) 
Rhodes. He attended the University of North Carolina in 
1826; taught school and afterwards studied law. Besides be- 
ing" a lawyer, he was also a prominent farmer. He died in 
Sampson county, March 22, 1863. 

♦Wheelcr'B Reminiscenses, Moore's History, Vol. II. 
fCol. Thomaft S. Kenan, Raleigh. 

convention of 1861 69 

Reid, David Settle.* 

One of Rockingham's delegates was David Settle Reid, the 
first Democratic Governor of North Carolina, who was thrice a 
candidate for this office, but suffered defeat the first time, 
1848. In 1850 his party again nominated him for the (Jovem- 
orship^and this time elected him^and repeated it in 1852. Dur- 
ing his second term as Governor the General Assembly elected 
him to the United States Senate which position he held until 
March 3, 1859. He was a son of Reuben Reid and was born 
in Rockingham county, April 19, 1813. He received his edu- 
cation at the Military Academy at Middletown, Conn. ; read 
law; received his license when twenty-one years old ; saw his 
first public service the next year, 1835, as State Senator from 
his native county, in which capacity he served five successive 
terms. He was a member of the House of Representatives of 
the United States 1843~'47.t He was a delegate to the 
Peace Congress at Washington, a member of the Confederate 
Congress, and also a member of the State Constitutional Con- 
vention of 1875. He died June 19, 1891. 

RoYSTER, Stephen Samuei..! 

S. S. Royster, of Granville, was born in Hanover county, 
Virginia, March 10, 1816. He was educated at a preparatory 
school in Albemarle county, near the University of Virginia. 
His father, David Royster, sold his property in Virginia 
and removed to Shelby, Tennessee, some time during the thir- 
ties. When about grown, S. S. Royster came from Ten- 
nessee and settled in Granville county where he made consid- 
erable money by farming. He was an ardent Whig and is 
said to have enjoyed an intimate acquaintance with Henry 
Clay. He was opposed to secession until Lincoln's proclama- 
tion calling on the South for troops. He was a director of the 
Raleigh and Gaston and the Raleigh and Augusta Air L^ine 

♦Dowd's Prominent North Carolinians; R. D. Reid, Wenlworth. 

f Wheeler's History. 

JCol. B. S. Royster, Oxford. 


Railroad Companies for about twenty years. He was an Epis- 
copalian. His death occurred July 20, 1878. 

RuFFiN, Thomas.* 

Alamance sent, as one of its delegates to the Convention, 
Thomas Ruffin,^ who had seen many years' service on the 
bench and whose opinions had been cited with favor throug-h- 
out America and in Westminster Hall. His parents were 
Sterlinje;- and Alice (Roane) Rufl5n, who were living in Essex 
county, Virginia, at the time of his birth, on November 17, 
1787. His mother was a first cousin of Spencer Roane, at one 
time Chief Justice of Virginia. Young Ruffin was sent to a 
classical academy at Warrenton to receive his preparatory in- 
struction under Marcus George, an eccentric but scholarly 
Irishman, and a teacher of repute. Among his fellow-stu- 
dents were Cadwallader Jones, later of the United States 
Navy, and Weldon N. Edwards. He entered Princeton Col- 
lege where he was graduated in 1805, sixteenth in a class 
of forty-two. Governor James Iredell was for three years his 
room-mate at this institution. After being graduated, David 
Robinson, a lawyer of Petersburg, Virginia, received him 
into his office and taught him law. A fellow student at the 
same time was General Win field Scott. Sterling Ruffin, hav- 
ing suffered financial reverses, removed to Rockingham 
county in 1805, whither he was followed by his son two years 
later. Here Hon. Archibald D. Murphey was his legal precep- 
tor. Gaining admission to the bar in 1808, he removed to 
Hillsborough in 1809, In 1813, '15 and '16, the borough of 
Hillsborough elected him as its representative in the House of 
Commons. Seven years after his advent to the bar and while 
Speaker of the House of Commons, in 1816, the General As- 
sembly elected him Superior Court Judge, vice Duncan Came- 
ron resigned. The wants of an increasing family and the 
heavy loss sustained by the payment of a large security debt 

* ** Life and Character of Thomas RuflBn," an Oration delivered be- 
fore the State Agricultural Society by Wm. A. Graham on Oct. 21, 


caused him to resign the judgeship in 1818. Some years later, 
Judge George E. Badger resigned and Judge Ruffin was again 
called to the Superior Court Bench, where he served until 
1828, when he resigned to become president of the Bank of 
the State of North Carolina. In 1829 he was elected to the 
Supreme Bench on which he sat continuously for twenty- 
three years. In 1833 Chief Justice Henderson died and he 
was promoted to that office. In 1852, he resigned, but was 
recalled after the death of his successor, Judge Nash, in Decem- 
ber 1858. His final resignation was in 1859, after which he 
served as presiding judge of the County Court of Alamance 
for a number of years. In 1854, the State Agricultural So- 
ciety elected him its president in which capacity he contin- 
ued six years. He was a Trustee of the University for twen- 
ty-six years and a member of the *' Peace Commission" which 
convened in Washington in the winter of 1861. In 1834, the 
University of North Carolina conferred upon him the degree 
of LL.D. His opinions extend through twenty-five vol- 
umes of the Reports of the North Carolina Supreme Court. 
** Judge Ruffin was a Jeffersonian Democrat, an ardent South- 
erner and had no toleration for Northern aggressions."* In 
religion he was a member of the Episcopal Communion. At 
the time of his death on January 15, 1870, he had been retired 
from public life for several years, and was living at Hills- 


C. B. Sanders, of Johnston, born seven miles northwest of 
Smithfield, September 7, 1829, was a son of John and Mary 
(Boddie) Sanders and of English extraction. He was gradu- 
ated among the best scholars from the University of North 
Carolina in 1851, deliving the Latin Salutatory. He read law 
under B. F. Moore, of Raleigh, and obtained his license in 
1852. He lived five miles from Smithfield where he fanned 
and practiced law. Mr. Sanders held the following public 

* Personal Sketches of Prominent Deltgates^ by David Schenck. 
tW. S. Stephens, Smithfield. 


offices : County Attorney, 1855 ; member of the General As- 
sembly, 1856 and 1862. He was a zealous Whig and at first 
opposed to secession. He died October 29, 1874. 

Sattbrthwaitb, Fennbr Bryan.* 

F. B, Satterthwaite, of Pitt, was born March 16, 1813. 
His ancestors came from England in colonial days; settled 
where Philadelphia now stands ; then came south and settled 
in the '*Pungo" or Marshipungo region of Beaufort County. 
He was raised in a wild and illiterate region receiving little but 
a *' plow handle" education. He married before he attained 
his majority. He represented Beaufort in the House of Com- 
mons in 1836 and was soon afterwards put in prison for debt, 
but his father-in-law came to his rescue and secured his re- 
lease. While in prison, he decided to study law, and it was 
not long before he had obtained a large practice. He was 
Presidential Elector on the Pierce ticket ; member of the Con- 
vention of 1865, and of the Council of State during Vance's 
administration. While in the Convention of 1861, he moved 
to table the act to allow soldiers to vote wherever they hap- 
pened to be at the time of election, in opposition to which 
measure he made one of the strongest speeches of tlie Conven- 
tion. He was a Whig and an Episcopalian. He died March 
23, 1875. 

Schbnck, David.! 

David Schenck, of Lincoln, occupied the seat in the 
Convention made vacant by the resignation of William Lan- 
der. He was born in Lincolnton March 24, 1835. His father, 
was David Warlick Schenck, and his mother's maiden name 
was Rebecca Bivens, of Charleston, South Carolina. The 
Schencks were exiled from Switzerland on account of being 
Protestants and came to England in 1708 and thence to Amer- 
ica with Penn's colony. In 1790 David Schenck's grandfather 

^Memorial Edition of his Life. 

tU. N. C, 1789-1889. Catalogue Dialectic Society. Dowd's Promi- 
nent North Carolinians, Wheeler's Reminiscences. 

CONVEN1MON OF 1861 73 

moved to North Carolina and settled in Lincoln county. The 
grandson studied law, obtaining his license in 1857, and lo- 
cated at Dallas, Gaston county, but in 1860 removed to Lin- 
colnton. He held the office of County Attorney for Gaston, 
and in 1860 for Lincoln. In 1874 he was elected Judge of the 
Ninth Judicial District, resigning on April 1, 1881, to become 
general counsel of the Richmond and Danville Railroad Com- 
pany and the following year removed to Greensboro. He is 
the president of the Guilford Battle Ground Company and to 
him is largely due the credit of the enterprise. In 1880 he re- 
ceived the degree of LL.D. from the University of North Car- 
olina. Judge Schenck is the author of ** North Carolina, 
1780-81," and of several other historical and biographical pa- 
pers. He is an Episcopalian. 

Shaw, Henry Marchmore.* 

Currituck county was represented in the Convention by H. 
M. Shaw, a native of Newport, Rhode Island, born on Novem- 
ber 20, 1817. His father, John Allen Shaw, was then engag- 
ed in the mercantile business and in shipping to and from the 
West Indies, and during the war of 1812 suffered great finan- 
cial losses by the destruction of his ships and their cargoes. 
About 1827 with the remnant of his fortune he removed to 
Tyrrell, engaging in merchandising and in the lumber busi- 
ness, but later abandoned these pursuits in order to enter the 
Baptist ministry. Both he and his wife, Betty Marchmore, 
were of Scotch-Irish extraction. Owing to the many losses 
which his father had sustained, Henry M. Shaw's scholastic 
education was limited to six months, but he found a friend 
and benefactor in the person of Dr. G. C. Marchant, of In- 
dian Town, Currituck county, in whose office he studied for 
four years, after which he entered the Medical Department of 
the University of Pennsylvania, receiving the degree of M.D. 
and two special certificates in surgery. After completing his 
medical course,he was associated with Dr. Marchant until 1854. 
In 1851, he was elected to the State Senate, defeating John 

*W. B. Shaw, Henderson. 


Bernard. In 1853, his party, the Democratic, nominated 
him as its candidate for member of Congress from the First 
District against Colonel David Outlaw, and elected him. 
Being re-nominated in 1855, Robert Treat Paine defeated 
him. In 1857, he was an elector on the Buchanan and 
Brcckenridge ticket. He strongly favored secession and re- 
signed from the Convention at the end of the first session to 
accept the colonelcy of the Eighth Regiment, North Carolina 
troops. His regiment was stationed at Roanoke Island in Feb- 
ruary, 1862, when Generaf Burnside made his attack, and on 
February 8, Colonel Shaw was compelled to surrender to the 
immensely superior force. He was exchanged in the Septem- 
ber following and immediately proceeded to reorganize his 
command. In the fall of 1862, he commanded the defenses 
of Kinston and had several sharp engagements. In the 
spring of 1863, his command was ordered to Charleston, and 
when an assault seemed no longer imminent, he was sent to 
Wilmington, but in July, 1863, he returned to Charleston to 
aid in resisting the attack of General Gilmore. From 
Charleston the Eighth Regiment went to Virginia in the 
trenches around Petersburg and thence to North Carolina to 
to form part of an expedition against New Berne. In the 
early morning of February 1, 1864, Colonel Shaw was mor- 
tally wounded in a skirmish on Batchelor's Creek near New 
Berne, and expired on the field. 

Shipp, W11.1.1AM Marcus.* 

William M. Shipp, of Henderson, son of Bartlett, whose 
father, Thomas Shipp, came from Virginia and settled on the 
Dan River near Danbury, was born on November 19, 1819, in 
Lincoln county where his father had removed in 1818 and 
married Susan, daughter of Peter Forney. He entered the 
State University, graduating as salutatorian of his class in 
1840 ; then read law ; received his license in 1842, and located 

♦Moore's History, Vol. II. Prominent Living North Carolinians ^ bj 
Jerome Dowd. 


at Hendersonville. In the begfinningf of the Civil war he was 
elected captain of a volunteer company raised in Henderson 
county. After seeing nearly a year's service in Virginia, he 
resigned in 1863, to accept a Superior Court Judgeship, which 
position he held until deposed under the Reconstruction Acts. 
In 1862, he was a member of the State Senate. In 1870, the 
Democratic party made him its nominee for Attorney General 
and elected him by a majority of four thousand two hundred 
and twenty-one votes over Samuel F. Phillips, of'Orange, the 
Republican candidate. After the expiration of his term of 
office, he practiced law in Charlotte until 1881, when Gover- 
nor Jarvis appointed him Judge of the Superior Court to 
succeed David Schenck resigned. He was elected to this of- 
fice in 1882 and was filling it at the time of his death on 
June 28, 1890.* - 

Smith, Conaro Drayton.! 

Conaro Drayton Smith, of Macon county, was born in the 
county of Buncombe on April 1, 1813. His grandfather, Jo- 
seph Smith, born in Maryland in 1730, was of English descent. 
He married Rebecca Dath, of Welsh descent, and removed to 
North Carolina in 1765. While on their way, Samuel, father 
of the subject of our sketch, was born in an inn in Albemarle 
county, Virginia. Samuel married Mary Jarrett, who was of 
English-German extraction, and settled near Asheville. In 
1820, he removed to Tennessee and here young Conaro lived 
until 1832, when he went to clerk for Smith and McElroy, 
general merchants and ginseng collectors in Buncombe coun- 
ty. When Yadkin county was created, J, W. McElroy was 
made Clerk of the Sui>erior Court and Smith became his dep- 
uty. Soon afterward, he was licensed to preach and his first 
work was as junior preacher in the LaFayette, Ga., district 
when it belonged to the Holton Conference. In 1838-'39, he 
was on the Lebanon Circuit, ; 1839-'40, agent of Holston Col- 
lege, New Market, Tennessee ; 1840- 41, on Wytheville circuit ; 

*N. C. Supreme Court Eleports, Vol. 106. 

t Autobiography of Rev. C. D. Smith, furnished by F. T. Smith, 


1841-'42, Jonesboro circuit; 1842-'43-'44, agent for Emory 
and Henry College ; 1844-'4S, Wytheville circuit for the sec- 
ond time; 1845-'46, Athens station, Tennessee; 1846-'47, 
Rogersville circuit; 1849-'50, Presiding Elder of the Rogers- 
ville district; 1850-'51, Presiding Elder of the Greenville dis- 
trict. This was his last service in the ministry as his health 
failed and his physician advised him to adopt a more active life, 
so he tried farming for three years. In 1853, he became agent 
for the American Colonization Society and sent two families 
of emancipated negroes to Liberia. Mr. Smith had always 
been interested in geology and mineralogy and had made nu- 
merous expert observations and discoveries and this work re- 
sulted in his appointment as Assistant State Geologist which 
position he held for a number of years. He also served the 
State of North Carolina as Senator in 1862 and as member of 
the board of Agriculture. He died January 31, 1894. 

Smith, Richard Henry.* 

R. H. Smith, of Halifax, son of William Ruffin and Sallie 
(Norfleet) Smith was born at Scotland Neck, November 10, 
1810. Richard Henry Smith was of English extraction. His 
forefathers came to Halifax county in 1700, and settled on 
Roanoke River. He was graduated from the University of 
North Carolina in 1832 and read law under Judge John Hall, 
of Warrenton, but his law practice was subordinate to his 
business of farming on Roanoke River. He was a member 
of the House of Commons in 1852 and '54, and was temporary 
chairman of the Convention of 1865. Mr. Smith favored 
peace until the inauguration of Lincoln when he became an 
ardent supporter of war. He was a communicant of the Epis- 
copal Church and often a delegate to its General Convention, 
He was an active director of the Insane Asylum, at Raleigh. 
He died in Raleigh on March 3, 1893. 

Smith, Wii,i,iam Alexander-! 

William A. Smith, of Johnston was born in Warren county 

*By his son, R. H. Smith, Scotland Neck. 

fC. W. Smith, Thomasville; N. C. Manual, 1874. 


on January 9, 1828. His parents, Bannister R, and Mary 
Smith, were both of English extraction. He received only an 
ordinary common school education and when a young* man, 
worked as a day-laborer on the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad. 
He resided awhile in Alabama, Louisiana and Texas, but re- 
turning to North Carolina, settled in Johnston county. He 
held public offices as follows : member of the legislature in 
1874 ; delegate to the Convention of 1865 ; President of the 
North Carolina Rail Road Company in 1868 ; elected to the 
State Senate in 1870 but unseated for non-residence ; member 
of Congress, 1873-75. He was, at one time. President of the 
Yadkin River Railway Company from Salisbury to Wades- 
boro, and also Receiver of the Western North Carolina Rail 
Road Company from Salisbury to Old Fort, He was elected 
to the Convention as a *' Union Man." At the time of his 
death on May 16, 1888, he had retired to his farm in John- 
ston county. His remains were interred in Hollywood Ceme- 
tery, Richmond, Virginia. In religion Mr. Smith was a 

Spked, Rufus King.* 
R. K. Speed, of Pasquotank, born December 25, 1810, was 
a native of Mecklenburg county, Virginia. His extraction 
was in part Indian, some of his kinsmen tracing their ances- 
try to Pocahontas. He was a doctor of medicine and a poli- 
tician. He represented Chowan and Gates counties in the 
State Senate two terms, 1838 and '40, and the first senatorial 
district in 1870. He was an elector on the Bell and Everett 
ticket and a delegate to the convention of February, 1861, 
which was voted down. Dr. Speed was, at first, an anti-se- 
cessionist, but became an ardent supporter of the Confederacy 
after voting for it. He is a member of the Missionary Bap- 
tist Church. Recently his mind gave away and he is now in 
the North Carolina Hospital, at Raleigh. 


The subject of our sketch is Robert Sprouse, of Davie, son 

fCol. R. B. Creccy, Elizabeth Citj. 
♦Herbert Clement, Mocksville. 


of Georg-e Sprouse, born in Patrick county, Virginia on 
September 10, 1810. He was of Scotch-Irish descent. But 
little is known of his early life. He settled at Hamptonville, 
Yadkin county, as a practising physican, but in 1855 removed 
to Mocksville. Here he did not practice medicine but devoted 
himself to farming. He served as special county magistrate 
from 1863 to 1865. He was a Whig and at first opposed to 
secession. He died June 22, 1867. 

Spruii^l, Eu.* 

Eli Spruill, of Tyrrell was bom in Washington county, 
January 12, 1818. His parents were Hugh and Sarah Spruill 
both of whom were of Scotch-Irish descent. He was Clerk of 
the Court for Tyrrell from 1852-'61 ; member of the House of 
Commons in 1862 and Probate Judge from 1868-74, and again 
Clerk of the Court in 1874. He was a Whig and opposed to 
secession until the call for troops. He was a merchant and a 
lawyer. At the time of his death, September 1, 1887, he had 
been a member of the Methodist Church for thirty-six years. 

Spruii*!*, Samuel Blount, t 

S. B. Spruill, of Bertie was bom on his father's plantation 
near the mouth of Scuppemong River, December 11, 1810. 
His parents were James A. and Caroline (Blount) Spruill, a 
granddaughter of Colonel Blount of the Revolution. His pa- 
ternal ancestors were English and his maternal Scotch. His 
father died when he was ten years old and he was sent to 
Warrenton to live with his uncle, George E. Spruill, who was 
the second Southerner to be graduated with first distinction 
from Yale. Hon. Weldon N. Edwards appointed him to 
West Point where he stayed three years and did well, but 
measles affected his eyesight, forcing him to leave the Aca- 
demy. He then studied law under his uncle at Warrenton 
and, on obtaining his license in 1830, settled in Tyrrell 

*Mark Majette, Columbia. 

fHon. Francis D. Winston, Windsor. 

CONVENTION OF 1861 . 79 

county. In 1831 he represented this county in the legislature 
and while in Raleigh married a Mrs. Cameron, of that city, 
and soon afterward removed to the Capital. In 1837, he was 
elected Superintendent of the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad 
Company and removed to Weldon. He soon resigned this 
situation and located at Jackson, Northampton county. In 
1840, although a Whig, he defeated Governor Thomas Bragg 
for a seat in the House of Commons by a majority of two 
hundred. His wife having died six years before, in 1847, he 
married Mrs. Edward Hardy, of Bertie county and removed 
to that county. He was a member of the legislature from 
Bertie in 1852 and a delegate to the Convention which nomi- 
nated General Winfield Scott for President. In 1860, he was 
nominated for the legislature, but was defeated by one vote. 
In June 1861, he assumed the colonelcy of the Second North 
Carolina Cavalry stationed at Kittrell, but later removed to 
EJdenton, whence they were ordered to New Berne to re-en- 
force the troops at the disposal of General L. O'B. Branch, 
who was in command there. On March 14, 1862, when Gen- 
eral Branch drew up his men to resist the Federal Army 
under General Burnside, the extreme right was held by Com- 
panies A and E of Spruill's Cavalry while six companies of 
the same command were held in reserve. A single volley 
from the two companies on the right repelled an attack — 
that flank being protected by a large and impassable swamp. 
These two companies with Colonel Vance's regiment were 
the last to leave the field. Colonel Spruill died at Colerain, 
Bertie county on May 15, 1889. 

Starbuck, Darius H«nry.* 

D. H. Starbuck, of Forsyth succeeded Rufus L. Patterson, 
resigned, and took his seat on June 23, 1862. He was born 
in Guilford county and was the son of Reuben and Mary 
(Beeson) Starbuck, both of English extraction. He was 
graduated from New Garden (now Guilford College) and 
read law. He was United States Attorney for the Western 

♦Judge H* R. Starbuck, Wi«ston ; Forsyth Co., by Miss A. h. Fries. 


District of North Carolina 1865-72. In 1868 he was elected 
Judge of the Superior Court from the Eighth Judicial District, 
but declined the office. He was a member of the Moravian 
Church ; was a Whig and opposed to secession. He was not 
a member of the Convention when the Ordinance of Secession 
was passed. He died May 26, 1887. 

Strange, Robert.* 

Robert Strange, of New Hanover, succeeded Robert H. 
Cowan, resigned, taking his seat November 19, 1861. He was 
bom in Fayetteville, July 27, 1823, of parentage, Judge Rob- 
ert and Jane (Kirkland) Strange; was graduated at the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina in the class of 1841 ; then studied 
law and located in Wilmington. He was a quartermaster in 
the Mexican war with the rank of Major ; member of the 
House of Commons in 1852 ; State Solicitor ; a Director of the 
Bank of Cape Fear and Major in the Confederate service. f 
He was an Episcopalian. His death occurred June 24, 1877. 

Stewart, Azariah Coburn.J 

A. C. Stewart, of Alexander, was born in the above county 
in 1836. He attended the University of North Carolina 
1858-'60. He was a fluent speaker and canvassed his na- 
tive county in favor of secession. He was one of the young- 
est members of the Convention. He attended the first session 
of the Convention and his untimely death occurred in 1861, 
during the interval between the first and second sessions of 
the body 

Strong, George Vaughan.§ 

G. V. Strong, of Wayne, son of Salmon and Eliza Jane 
(Sampson) Strong, was born in Sampson county on March 7, 

♦James Sprunt, Esq., Wilmiiififtoii. 

tWheeler'B Reminiscenses. 

tHon. R. Z. Linney, Taylorsville. U. N. C. 1789-1889. 

gRobertC. Strong, Raleigh. 

CONVKNTION OF 1861 • 81 

1827. His father was of English blood and his mother of 
Scotch-Irish. He was graduated from the State University 
in 1845 with highest honors; taught school a year; then read 
law under George W. Mordecai, and located in Goldsboro in 
1853. He served as District Attorney of North Carolina dur- 
ing the Confederacy, In 1871 he removed to Raleigh and en- 
tered into a copartnership with Governor Thomas Bragg and 
later with Chief Justice W. N. H. Smith. In 1874 he repre- 
sented Wake county in the lower house of the General As- 
sembly. He was Judge of the Wake County Criminal Court 
during its existence and conducted a law school while he oc- 
cupied this position. He had retired from practice for several 
years before his death, which occurred October 10, 1897. 

Strong, John Mason.* 

Dr. J. M. Strong, of Mecklenburg, was born in Newberry 
county, South Carolina, on September 1, 1818. He was the son 
of Rev. Charles and Nancy (Harris) Strong, both of Scotch- 
Irish descent. He was graduated from the Jefferson Liberty 
College in Worthington county, Pennsylvania, in 1841, and 
at Jeflterson Medical College, Philadelphia, in 1847. He never 
held any public post except that of member of the Convention. 
He took his seat in this body on January 23, 1862, in the place 
of Ju<lgc James Walker Osborne, resigned. He was an orig- 
inal Secessionist. Dr. Strong was a member of the Associate 
Reformed Presbyterian Church, He died March 11, 1898, at 
Elrod, Mecklenburg county. 

Sutherland, John CniSHOLM.t 

J. C. Sutherland, of Robeson, was bom about seven miles 
south of the present town of Maxton in the **01d Fork'* 
neighborhood of Robeson county in 1815. He was of Scotch 
lineage on both sides. He was a school teacher during the 
greater part of his life and a member of the faculty of Floral 

♦Heriot Clarkson, Charlotte. 
fD. P. McEachern, Red Springs. 


(Female) College in the above county during its palmiest days. 
He was always a man of retiring disposition and never married. 
His residence and all of his personal effects were burned by 
Sherman's army and all the family records were lost. For 
these reasons data in regard to his life are meagre. He tried 
merchandising at Bennettsville, South Carolina, immediately 
after the war, but soon abandoned it and went back to teach- 
ing. He was a Presbyterian and was, for many years, a rul- 
ing elder in the church. He and his colleague, J. P. Puller, 
were both red hot secessionists. He died in Maxton in 

Thomas, Charles Randolph.* 

Charles R. Thomas, of Carteret, was a native of that county, 
born February 7, 1827. His parents were of Welsh and Eng- 
lish extraction. His father, Marcus, was a wealthy ship 
owner and merchant, and his mother was Elizabeth Duncan. 
He received his v^ducation at Emory College in Virginia, at 
Caldwell Institute, and at the University of North Carolina, 
where he was graduated in 1849. He read law under Judge 
Richmond M. Pearson and William H. Battle and located in 
New Berne. After the Convention of 1861 he removed to Ral- 
eigh and was soon afterwards chosen principal clerk of the 
State Senate, but resigned upon being elected Secretary of 
State in 1864; and in 1866 he resigned this office to become a 
director of the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad Com- 
pany, and sui>scquently its president. In 1868, he was elected 
Judge of the Superior Court for the Third District, which of- 
fice he resigned to become a member of the Porty-Second Con- 
gress in 1871. Judge Thomas wa^ re-elected to Congress in 
1873. After retirini^ from this body he practised his profes- 
sion in New Bern. He opp os^^l secession, favoring every honor- 
able means to preserve the Union. He was a member of the 
Whig party until the <leath of Henry Clay and after the war 
a Republican, supporting that party until 1876, when he voted 

*(Son) Charles R. Thomas, New Berne. 


for the Democratic national and State candidates. He served 
the University as a trustee for many years. He was a mem- 
ber of the Presbyterian Church. He died in New Berne, Feb- 
ruary 18, 1891. 

Thomas, William Holland,* 

The delegate from Jackson was born on Pigeon River in 
Haywood county February 1805. In January 1804 his father, 
Richard Thomas, a cousin of President Zachary Taylor, mar- 
ried Temperance Calvert, a descendant of a brother of Lord 
Baltimore, and soon afterwards came south to sell horses and 
settled on Pigeon River. While away on a business expedi- 
tion he was drowned in Etowa River before the birth of his 
son. At the age of thirteen young Thomas became a clerk in 
the store of Felix Walker at Qualla Town, now the capital of 
the Cherokee settlement in Jackson county and at seventeen 
went into business with John B. Love on the site of the pres- 
ent town of Webster. He soon bought the interest of his 
partner and enlarged the business and in 1838 had five stores 
and a comfortable fortune. While he was clerking for Wal- 
ker, an old Indian chief conceived a great love for him, and 
adopted him as his son. Thomas, in turn, became much at- 
tached to the tribe, devoting many years of his life to their 
material and moral advancement. From 1836 to 1848 he was 
almost continually in Washington, endeavoring to collect 
claims due the tribe by the government, and ultimately suc- 
cess crowned his efforts. From 1848 to 1862 he served as 
State Senator'from Haywood, Macon and Cherokee. In 1861 
he raised, equipped and commanded Thomas' Legion, com- 
posed of two companies of Cherokees and fourteen companies 
of white Infantry. He also raised four companies of cavalry, 
one of engineers and one of artillery. He had, before this 
time, been elected chief of the Indian tribe. He did not favor 
secession, but when it was decided upon, he threw his whole 
soul into the movement. His arduous labors in the cause of 
the Confederacy together with other troubles caused his 

*Mr8. A. C. Avery, Morganton. 


health to fail, and from 1867 until his death on May 12, 1893, 
he was but a wreck of his former self. 

Thompson, Ervin Applewhite.* 

E. A. Thompson, of Wayne, was born in Stony Creek 
Township, Wayne county, in 1827 His parents, William 
and Celia (Applewhite) Thompson, were both of English ex- 
traction. After being graduated at Randolph-Macon College, 
he studied law, and upon obtaining his license, settled in 
Qoldsboro. He was Clerk and Master in Equity in 1852 ; 
member of the House of Commons 1855-*58 ; County Solicitor 
1862. He was a Method'st. He was an ardent secessionist, 
believing that it would be peaceable and without bloodshed. 
He defeated Hon. W. T. Dortch as a delegate by six votes. 
He died in the Insane Asylum in Raleigh in 1882. 

Thornton, Francis Ai^exander. 

F. A. Thornton, of Warren, was a native of Virginia. 
His mother was a sister of Nathaniel Macon. He attended 
the University of North Carolina in 1813. He was an exten- 
sive planter and a very large slave owner. He represented 
Warren county in the House of Commons in 1821, '22, '48 and 
1850, and in the State Senate in 1866. He was a delegate to the 
convention which nominated Franklin Pierce for President. 
He was an ardent secessionist. He died on his farm near 
the Roanoke River in Warren county in July 1867 aged about 
seventy-five years. 

Tracy, James Wright. f 

Dr. J. W. Tracy, of Cleveland, son of Captain William and 
Mary (Reynolds) Tracy, was born in Spartanburg, S. C, on 
December 19, 1819. He was of French and Scotch ancestry, 
He was graduated in medicine from Transylvania University, 
Lexington, Kentucky. Dr. Tracy opposed secession until 

♦F. A. Daniels, Groldsboro. 

fDr. B. F. Dixon, King's Mountain. 


Lincoln's call for troops. He served successively as assistant 
surgeon of the Thirty-Seventh North Carolina Regiment; 
chief surgeon of the Fourteenth North Carolina Regiment ; 
as Surgeon of Ramseur's Brigade ; as one of the surgeons at 
the Fair Ground Hospital in Raleigh. He was also a mem- 
ber of the State Board of Medical Examiners. Dr. Tracy's 
professional career extended over a period of fifty years. He 
was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. 
His death occurred January 17, 1896. 

Turner, Hector. t 

Dr. Hector Turner, of Moore, was bom March 1816, in the 
isle of Jura, Scotland. His parents, Malcolm and Isabella 
(Currie) Turner, came to America in 1820 and settled on a 
plantation in Moore county. They had three sons : Daniel 
who died before reaching the prime of life ; Hector, the sub- 
ject of our sketch, and Alexander, a physician in Alabama. 
Hector received the larger part of his education at the Fay- 
etteville High School, and in 1847 was graduated in medicine 
from the University of New York. Locating in his adopted 
county, he soon became associated with Dr. Jolin Shaw, which 
connection was sustained for nearly twenty years. During 
the war, he served as surgeon of the Twentieth North Caro- 
lina Regiment, and later as brigade surgeon, remaining in 
the army until the surrender at Appomattox. He then re- 
turned to Carthage, dividing his attention beiween the prac- 
tice of meJicinj and farming, but later removed to Cameron, 
In 1881, he was elected to the legislature and was returned at 
the subsequent term. In politics Dr. Turner was, previous to 
the war, a Whig and afterwards, a Democrat, and in religion 
he was a ''true blue stocking Presbyterian." His long career 
as a practitioner, embracing a period of almost a half-century, 
was terminated by death, on September 21, 1896. 

Vknable, Abraham Watkins.I 

A. W. Venable, of Granville, was born in Prince Edward 

*A^ A. Turner, Cameron ; W. H. McNeiU, Carthage. 
tWheeler*s Reminiscences ; Moore's History. 


county, Virginia, October 17, 1799. His father was Samuel 
Venable and his mother a daughter of Judge Carrington, of 
Virginia. He was graduated at Hampden-Sidney College in 
1816 ; spent the two years following in studying medicine, 
but then abandoned it to enter Princeton where he was grad- 
uated in 1819, after which he studied law. On receiving his 
license in 1821, he settled in Oxford. He was an elector on 
the Jackson ticket in 1832 and in 1836 on the Van Buren; a 
member of Congress from 1847-'53. On June 18, 1861, the 
Convention elected him to the Confederate Congress. At the 
expiration of his term he retired from public life and died in 
Oxford on February 24, 1876. 

Walton, Alfred Joseph."' 

A. J. Walton, of Gates, son of Timothy and Sarah (Greg- 
ory) Walton, was born in that county on September 24, 1819. 
His ancestors came from England. He attended LaGrange 
College (Alabama), but was not graduated. He was a farm- 
er ; an old line Whig and a strong secessionist after Lincoln 
called on the South for troops. He served as a justice of the 
peace ; also as Chairman of the County Court for several 
years. He was a Methodist. He died March 27, 1874. 

Ward, Edward West.I 

Dr. E. W. Ward, of Onslow was born in New Berne, January 
4, 1827. His parents were both natives of Onslow and of 
English extraction. He lived in Mississippi until he was 
seventeen years old, when he returned to North Carolina. 
He entered the State University in 1847, remaining one year, 
and then studied medicine in Philadelphia, receiving his 
diploma in 1850. Dr. Ward has held the office of magistrate ; 
County Superintendent of Public Instruction ; Chairman of 
the County Medical Board. After serving six months in the 
Convention, he resigned to enter the Confederate cavalry 

*Lr. Lr. Smith, Gatesville. 
fSclf, PoUocksviUc. 


service with the rank of captain, continuing to hold this of- 
fice until Appomattox. In addition to his practice, Dr. Ward 
is engaged in farming. He believed that any state had a 
right to secede. He is a Missionary Baptist and a Democrat. 
He now lives in Pollocksville, Jones county. 

Warren, Edward Jenner.* 

E, J. Warren, of Beaufort was born in Vermont, December 
12, 1824 ; came to this state as a teacher and located at 
Washington where he read law. He was elected to the State 
Senate in 1862, '64 and '71, and during the last term was 
President of the body. He was appointed a Superior Court 
Judge by Governor Worth. He was a strong Whig. His 
death occurred December 10, 1876. 

Washington, John Cobb.I 

J. C. Washington, of Lenoir, son of John and Elizabeth 
Herritage (Cobb) Washington, was born in Kinston on De- 
cember 24. 1801. His paternal ancestors were English and 
were related to George Washington. His maternal were 
Scotch and Dutch, He was a merchant and a farmer. He 
was a communicant of the Episcopal Church and was opposed 
to secession. He died at Black Mountain, January 12, 1887. 

Whitford, John Dalton.J 

John D. Whitford, of Craven was born in New Berne, August 
17, 1825. His parents, Hardy and Mary J. (Clarke) Whit- 
ford were of English and Scotch-Irish ancestry respectively. 
President Taylor appointed Mr. Whitford, Collector of Cus- 
toms at New Berne. After filling the ofi&ce for three years, he 
resigned. In 1853-'S4, he was Mayor of New Berne. He has 
always taken an active part in internal improvements, and 

♦Wheeler's Reminiscences; S. C. Bra^aw, Washington. 
fR. H. Lewis, Kinston. 
JSelf , New Berne. 


was, for a number of years, Director of the Neuse River Nav- 
igation Company whose intention was to make the Neuse 
navigable to Smithfield. In 1851, he was elected a Director 
of the Atlantic and North Carolina Rail Road Company, serv- 
ing one year. On the organization, afterward, of the At- 
lantic and North Carolina Rail Road Company in 1854, he 
was elected president of the corporation and continued at its 
head until removed by military authority after the Civil War. 
He was also president during the administration of Jonathan 
Worth. He served in the transportation department of the 
Confederacy with rank of Major, and for a time as Ordinance 
Officer for the State. In 1865, the shipping house of Whit- 
ford, Dill & Co., was established. They were among the 
first to run a line of steamers from New Berne to New York 
after the war. Prom 1867-71, he was financial ag^nt of the 
Raleigh and Augusta Airline Railway Company and from 
188S-'88 assistant engineer in char^j of the government work 
on Contentnea Creek and Tar River. He was elected without 
opposition both to the Convention of 1861 and to that of 1865. 
He did not believe in the right of secession, but did believe in 
the right of a wronged people to rebel. He has written a 
number of articles on various subjects, some of which are: 
*'Kinston Letters on Internal Improvements"; '* Rambles 
about Town;" *' A Pew Hours at Poplar Mount." He is still 
living in New Berne. 

W11.1.IAMS, Archibald Davis.* 

A. D. Williams, of Franklin, was born nine miles north- 
west of the town of Halifax, January 7, 1821. He is the 
youngest of five children born to Robert W. and Harty 
(Hodge) Williams. In his infancy his parents removed to 
Franklin county. He is of Welsh-English extraction. He 
is a successful farmer and has held no public p jst except that 
of delegate to the Convention and titho gatherer during 
the war. He is a Missionary Baptist. He was a Whig and 

♦Self, Franklin County. 


was opposed to secession. He is now living in Franklin 

Williamson, James Edwards.* 

James E. Williamson, of Caswell, was a native of that 
county, born September 19, 1799. ' In his fifteenth year, his 
parents, James and Annie (Edwards) Williamson, removed to 
Georg-ia, where he resided until he reached manhood. He 
then returned to his native State ; studied medicine and began 
practising when twenty-six and continued to practise for forty 
years. He joined the Methodist Episcopal Church South in his 
youth and served it ror a number of years as President of the 
Board of Trustees of Greensboro Female College, as a trus- 
tee of Trinity College and as a director of the Board of Do- 
mestic Missons. He was a conservative in politics and a 
staunch friend of the Union, deprecating secession to the last, 
but became a loyal Southerner as soon as North Carolina 
withdrew from the Union. He entered the Convention on 
June 10, 1861, as the successor of Col. J. A. Graves resigned. 
He died in his native county January 23, 1867. 

Wilson, Thomas Johnson. f 

Thomas J. Wilson of Forsyth, was born December 31, 1831, 
in the southern part of Stokes county, which is now Forsyth. 
His paternal ancestors were Scotch and his maternal Qua- 
kers. He worked on a farm until eighteen. He was educated 
mainly in the neighborhood schools and at Clemsonville 
Academy. He studied law,obtainiag his Superior Court license 
in 1840. In 1844 he was Solicitor for Stokes county and later 
for Forsyth and Davidson. He became Superior Court Judge 
ill the Eighth District in 1874 and held office for six months 
when tlie Supreme Court declared his appointment unconstitu- 
tional. He was State Senator in 1876-77, and has held no 
public office since. He is still living in Winston, but has been 
completely paralyzed for years. 

*P. H. WiUiamson, Reidaville. 

f Dowd*8 Reminiscences; Prominent Living North Carolinians; Wheel- 
er's Reminiscences. 


WiNSLow, Warren.* 

Warren Winslow, of Cumberland, was born in Fayetteville, 
on January 1, 1810 ; lived and died there August 17, 1862. 
His father was John Winslow, a prominent merchant of Fay- 
etteville. He was an alumnus of the State University, being 
a member of the class of 1827, and a lawyer by profession. 
He was elected to the State Senate in 1854 and was chosen 
Speaker of that body. On December 4, 1854, when Governor 
Reid was elected United States Senator, Warren Winslow be- 
came Governor ex officio. He was a member of the House of 
Representatives three terms, 1855-61. He was appointed by 
the President of the United States as a special commissioner 
to Spain in regard to the '* Black Warrior Affair." He was a 
Democrat and a secessionist. He was the author of several 
poems, one of them, ** Moonlight on Lake Waccamaw" being 
especially worthy of note. 

WooDFiN, Nicholas Washington.! 

The delegate from Buncombe was Nicholas Washington 
Woodfin. His ancestors emigrated to this country from Eng- 
land and were in very destitute circumstances. He was the 
fourth of twelve children born to John and Mary (Grady) 
Woodfin. He was born in t)ie part of Buncombe, now Hen- 
derson county, January 29, 1810. His parents were unable to 
give him more than a common old field school education. At 
twenty he studied law under Governor Swain and upon attain- 
ing his majority he obtained his license and settled in Ashe- 
ville, where he soon built up a large practice. For ten years, 
(1844-'54), he represented his native county in the State Sen- 
ate. He was also a very successful farmer and delivered a 
number of addresses before agricultural societies, one before 
the American Agricultural Society at Ithaca, N. Y. He 
was a vestryman of the Episcopal Church. He was a Whig, 
and as such was opposed to secession until, Lincoln called on 
the South for troops. He died in Asheville May 23, 1876. 

♦Judge Buxton, Fayetteville; Wheeler's and Moore's History. 
fMiss Anna M. Woodfin, Asheville. 



Richard Woolen, of Columbus, was born March 14, 1798, in 
Lenoir county, and was the voung-est son of Shade and Eliza- 
beth Wooten. His father was an officer under Caswell and 
took a very active part in the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge. 
His grandfather, Council Wooten, came from Wales and landed 
on Roanoke Island in 1686. His mother was of Puritan descent 
and from Massachusetts. Shade Wooten moved to Colum- 
bus county in 1805. Richard Wooten served in the war 
of 1812 as a courier. He was elected to the House of Com- 
mons in 1819 before he was twenty-one and was re-elected in 
1820, '22, '24 and to the State Senate in 1846, '48 and '50. He 
believed in the right of secession, but did not advocate its ex- 
ercise until Lincoln made his demand for troops. He was a 
member of the Missionary Baptist Church. His death oc- 
curred on Janury 20, 1870. 

*E. C. Wooten, Prong:. 

Notk: To the sketch of William Foy should be appended the foUow- 
inf,^ foot note: C. D. Foy, MaySville; Col. John D. Whitford, New 
Berne. To John Hill, Dr. L. H. Hill, Germanton. 


Edwards, Wkldon Nathaniel, PREsiDBNT.f 

Steele, Walter Leak. J 

Walter L. Steele, Principal Secretary of the Convention of 
1861, was a native of Richmond countv, born at Steele's Mills, 
(now Little's Mills), on April 18, 1823. His parents were 
Thomas and Hannah (Pickett) Leak, both of English ex- 
traction. He was educated partly at Randolph-Macon, at 
Wake Forest College, and then at the University of North 
Carolina, where he was graduated in 1844. He was a member 
of the House of Commons in 1846-'48 and '50, and in 1854 and 
1856, and of the State Senate in 1858. He was a delegate to the 
National Democratic Convention at Charleston and Baltimore 
in 1860. He was elected Secretary of the Convention of 1861 
over James H. Moore, of Guilford, receiving ninety-six votes 
to nineteen for his opponent. S He was appointed Democratic 
candidate for Presidential Elector in the Sixth District in 1872; 
was a member of the Forty-fifth Congress and also of the 
Forty-Sixth, and during the latter part of his life was Presi- 
dent of the Pee Dee Manufacturing Company. He was by 
profession a lawyer. In politics he was a Democrat and in 
religion a Methodist. He died at John Hopkins Hospital, 
Baltimore, Maryland, on October 16, 1891. 

Edwards, Leonidas Compton.|| 

L. C. Edwards, son of Isham and Margaret (Campbell) Ed- 

*In the addition making one hundred aud forty-seven names, Mr. 
Syme is not included. This name makes a total of one hundred and 

f For sketch see p. 33. 

tGeo. S. Steele, Rockingham. 

gJournal of the Convention. 

llSelf, Oxford. 


wards, was bom in Person county on February 15, 1825. He 
was of extraction — English and Scotch-Irish. He was educated 
at Leasburg, Caswell county, and at the University of North 
Carolina, where he graduated in 1844. He chose law as his 
profession and, soon after obtaining his license, became at- 
torney for the county of Person, which position he held until 
1852. He was elected Assistant Secretary of the Convention, 
receiving fifty-eight votes against thirty-three, twelve and 
eleven respectively for Messrs. J. A. Fox and J. A. Edwards, 
and S. A. Williams. Previous to the war he was a Whig of 
the Henry Clay school and since the war he has been a Re- 
publican in national politics. He was Reading Clerk of the 
Senate in 1868-'69 and State Senator from Granville in 
1870-71. Mr. EJdwards has always believed that it was 
wrong for a State to secede. He is now and has been for 
many years a practicing attorney at Oxford. 

Pagk, James.* 

James Page, Principal Doorkeeper of the Convention of 
1861, was born in Randolph county on June 6, 1806. His 
father was Benjamin F. Page who married Sallie Boling, 
both of whom were natives of Virginia and of Scotch-Irish 
descent. When about twenty-five years of age, he was 
elected Doorkeeper of the State Senate and served almost con- 
tinuously in this capacity until elected Doorkeeper of the Con- 
vention. In 1862, he was elected Doorkeeper of the Confed- 
erate Senate in Richmond and served there until the close of 
the war. He also served on a like position once or twice in 
the State Senate after the war. In politics, he was an old 
time Whig, but later became a Democrat. He was a com- 
municant of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, At the 
time of his death, March 6, 1876, he was proprietor of a hotel 
in Ashel)oro. 

Lovii^L, William Redford.! 

The Assistant Doorkeeper of the Convention was William 
♦James G. Steed, Steeds. 
tEMward F. Lovlll, Boone. 


Redford Lovill who was born in Surfj county, April 15, 1813, 
and is still living in Vernon county, Missouri. William 
Lovill, whose wife was Sarah Poindexter was his father. 
Wm. R. Lovill's paternal grandfather emigrated from Corn- 
wall, England, to Surry county about 1760, and served in the 
Revolutionary war and in the House of Commons two times. 
Wm. R. Lovill served a number of times as doorkeeper of one 
or the other houses of the legislature before the war. He 
was a Whig before the war, and at first was opposed to seces- 
ion, but after Lincoln called for troops favored secession and 
armed resistance. He is a member of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church, South. 

Syme, John William.* 

Printer to the Convention of 1861, was John William Syme, 
only child of Rev. Andrew and Jean Mathersou (Cameron) 
Syme, born in Petersburg, Virginia, January 9, 181L Andrew 
Syme was a native of Lanarkshire, Scotland, and his wife 
was the second daughter of Rev. John Cameron, one of the 
earliest ministers of the Episcopal Church in Colonial Vir- 
ginia. The preparatory training of John W. Syme was 
received at Partridge's Military School in Middletown, Con- 
necticut and from there, he went to William and Mary College 
where he was graduated. After studying law under his kins- 
man. Judge Fredrick Nash, at Hillsborough, he began the prac- 
tice in Petersburg, but soon embarked in the more congenial oc- 
cupation of editing a newspaper. His paper, **The Peters- 
burg Intelligencer," was for many years a leading Whig 
organ. He served for several terms in the Virginia legisla- 
ture. A number of Whigs persuaded him to remove to North 
Carolina, and assume the editorship of "The Raleigh Regis- 
ter," which position he accepted in 1856. Mr. Syme oppose 1 
secession until North Carolina seceded when he strongly strong- 
ly supported the Southern cause. In 1864 he returned to Peters- 
burg and began the publication of *'The Petersburg Regis- 
ter," but the life of this paper was of short duration, as the 
city was then in a state of siege. His death occurred in 
Petersburg on November 26, 1865. 

♦W. L. Anderson, Raleij^h. 


Alamance — Thomas Rufi&n, Giles Mebane. 

Alexander — A, C. Stewart, A, M. Bo^le. 

Ashe and Alleghany — J. E. Foster. 

Anson — Albert Myers, J. A. Leak. 

Beaufort— W. J. Ellison, E. J. Warren, R. S. Donnell. 

Bertie — S. B. Spniill, James Bond. 

Bladen— Thomas D. McDowell, Neill Kelly. 

Brunswick — T. D. Meares. 

Buncombe — N. W. Woodfin. 

Burke— J. C. McDowell. 

Cabarrus — Caleb — Phifer. 

Caldwell— E. W. Jones. 

Camden — D. D. Ferebee. 

Carteret— Chas. R. Thomas. 

Caswell — Bedford Brown, J. A. Graves, Jas. E. Williamson. 

Catawba — P. C. Henkel, George Sitzer. 

Chatham — John Manning, J. H. Headen. 

Chowan— R. Dillard. 

Cherokee — A. T. Davidson, J. H. Bryson. 

Cleveland— W, J. T. Miller, J. W. Tracy. 

Columbus — Richard Wooten. 

Craven — George Green, J. D. Whitford. 

Cumberland — David McNeill, Warren Winslow, M. J. Mc- 

Currituck— H. M. Shaw, J B. Jones, D. McD. Lindsay. 
Davidson— B. C. Douthitt, B. A. Kittrell. 
Davie — Robert Sprouse. 

Duplin — W. J. Houston, James Dickson, J. T. Rhodes. 
EJdgecombe — W. S. Battle, George Howard. 
Forsyth— R. L. Patterson, T. J. Wilson, D. H. Starbuck. 
Gaston— S. X. Johnston. 
Franklin — A. D. Williams. 
Gates— A. J. Walton. 


Granville— T. L. Hargrrove, S. S. Royster, A. W. Venable. 
T. B. Lyon. 

Greene — W. A. Darden. 

Guilford— R. P. Dick, J. A. Gilmer, Ralph Gorrell. 

Halifax— R. H. Smith, C. J. Gee, L. W. Batchelor. 

Harnett— A. S. McNeill. 

Haywood — William Hicks. 

Henderson — W. M. Shipp. 

Hertford — Kenneth Rayner. 

Hyde— E. N. Mann. 

Iredell — Anderson Mitchell, T. A. Allison. 

Jackson — W. H. Thomas. 

Johnston — C, B. Sanders. Wm. A. Smith. 

Jones — William Foy. 

Lenoir — J* C. Washington. 

Lincoln — William Lander, David Schenck. 

Macon— C. D, Smith. 

Madison — J. A. McDowell. 

Martin — Asa Bigg's, D. W. Bagley. 

Mecklenburg — William Johnston, J. W, Osborne, F. C. Cald- 

Montgomery — S. H. Christian. 

Moore — Hector Turner. 

Nash— A. H. Arrington, L. N. B. Battle. 

New Hanover — Wm. S. Ashe, R. H. Cowan, Robert Strange, 
J. L. Holmes. 

Northampton — D. A. Barnes, J. M. Moody. 

Onslow— E. W. Ward, A. J. Murrill. 

Orange — W. A. Graham, John Berry. 

Pasquotank — R. K. Speed. 

Perquimans — J. S. Cannon. 

Person — ^J. W. Cunningham. 

Pitt— Bryan Grimes, F, B. Saterthwaite, P. A. Atkinson. 

Randolph— W. J. Long, A. G. Foster. 

Richmond— W. F. Leak. 

Robeson— J. C. Fuller, J. C. Sutherland. 

Rockingham— D. S. Reid, E. T. Brodnax. 


Rowan — Burton Craig-e, H. C. Jones, R. A. Caldwell. 
Rutherford— J, H. Carson, Micajah Durham, G. W. Michal. 
Sampson — Thomas Bunting, R. A. Moseley. 
Stanly — Eben Hearne. 
Stokes — John Hill, A. H. Joyce. 
Surry— T. V, Hamlin. 
Tyrrell -Eli Spruill. 
Union — H. M. Houston. 

Wake -G. E. Badger, K. P. Battle, W. W. Holden. 
Warren -Weldon N. Edwards, F. A. Thornton. 
Washington — Wm. S. Pettigrew. 
Watauga- -J. W. Councill. 
Wayne —Geo. V. Strong, E. A. Thompson. 
Wilkes — James Galloway, Peter Eller. 
Yadkin— R. F. Armfield. 
Yancey — M. P. Penland. 


OF 1861. 


As Mr. McCormick, with creditable perseverance and accu- 
racy, has given sketches of the officers and delegates to the 
Convention of the State, which met on the 20th of May, 1861, 
with powers unrestricted, but with implied instructions to 
attempt to separate from the Federal Union, an act equivalent 
to a declaration of war, I deem it proper to chronicle the 
leading measures passed or rejected by that body. 


The Convention held four sessions. 

The first began on May 20th and ended June 28th, 1861, 

The second began November 18th and ended December 13th, 

The third began January 20th and ended February 26th, 

The fourth began April 21st and ended May 13th, 1862. 

The Convention passed a resolution* on April 30th 1862, to 
adjourn on the 12th of May following, subject to the call of 
President Edwards, and in case of his death, of Messrs. Gra- 
ham, Howard, Badger, Smith of Halifax, and Rayner, or a 
majority of them, at any time jjrevious to November 1st, 1862, 
and that if not called together before that time, it should 
stand adjourned sine die. As it was not convened again, the 
final dissolution of the body was on November 1st, 1862. 

A similar resolution was adopted June 26th, 1861, fixing 
the date of reassembling on the third Monday of November of 
that year, unless sooner convened by the President, or in case 

* Jourual of Convention, Fourth Session, p. 32. 


CONVBNTION OP 1861 ' 99 

of his death, by any three of the following : Messrs. Ruffin, 
Graham, Brown, Osborne, Big-g-s. 

A similar resolution was adopted in regard to the third 


These were reported by a committee,* through ex-Governor 
Reid, Chairman. A few observations concerning them will 

The order of motionst adopted varied from that of many 
other bodies. It was to adjourn, to lay on the table, to post- 
pone indefinitely, to postpone to a day certain, to commit, to 
amend. The motion for the previous question, which is in 
some manuals, was omitted. Some manuals also have the 
motion to postpone indefinitely at the end of the list. 

Each motion, as usual, had preference before all below it. 
The first and second were not debatable. '* Motion to ad- 
journ is alwiiys in order." was one of the rules, yet in prac- 
tice, notwithstanding the word *' always," some business was 
required to intervene between two such motions. 

The president was expressly allowed to cast only one vote, 
and, if a tie resulted, the question was lost. 

Jefferson's Manual was prescribed as authority on points 
not covered by the rules. 

Any member could call for a count by rising and sitting, or 
by tellers. It took one fifth of those present to call for the 
yeas and nays, whereas by the old Constitution two could do 
it in either branch of the General Assembly. 

I give some rulings in special cases. 

As soon as the president and principal secretary were 
elected, t Mr. Badger offered his ** Ordinance of Revolution." 
Objection was made that he was premature, that the sergeant 
at arms and other officers had not been chosen. *'I am in 
order," said he. " The Convention is organized. As soon as 

* Convention Journal, p. 19. 
f Convention Journal, p. 19. 
t Convention Journal; p. 6. 


a body has a head to direct and a hand to record, it is organ- 
ized." He was sustained and Craige's Ordinance of Secession 
was offered and adopted as a substitute, the vote being- taken 
after the election of the remaining officers. 

On another occasion* Mr. Badger contended that when the 
ayes and noes had not been called and recorded, any member, 
whether he voted with the majority or not, could make a mo- 
tion to reconsider. "We must go by the journal," said he, 
** and that does not show any minority vote. When the ayes 
and noes are not called all are presumed to vote with the ma- 
jority." His position was accepted as correct. 

Mr. Badger was considered the best authority on parlia- 
mentary law, and I think ex-Governor Graham next. It was 
on Mr. Badger's motion * that a number of rules were added 
to those reported by ex-Governor Reid. Among them was one 
that every resolution and ev^ery report of a committee should 
lie over one day for consideration. 

The President was a good officer and his decisions were 
only twice overruled by the House, the points against him 
being taken by Mr. Badger. In the first instance! the Con- 
vention decided, that a motion to rescind a resolution to ad- 
journ, of which motion notice had been given the preceding 
day, was not bound to lie over for another day. In the sec- 
ond instance the decision that a motion to rescind a resolution 
of adjournment did not require three readings. It is fair to 
state that the President and his peculiar friends were desirous 
of adjourning on the day first agreed on and this wish may 
have biased his judgment. The vote on the first appeal was 
35 jko 45 ; on the second 39 to 43, and on the question of re- 
scinding the adjournment resolution, 50 to 38. 


The following is a list of the Chairmen of Committees. 
The President in the constitution of the committees, as a 

*The authority for this is my recollection. 
fConyention Journal, 1st Session, p. 174. 


rule, g-ave the first place, as well as the majority of the mem- 
bers, to the Original Secessionists, or those who acted with 

Burton Craig-e, and after his resignation, Ex-Chief Justice, 
Thomas Ruftin, on the Address to the People showing the 
propriety of the Ordinance of Secession. I think this com- 
mittee never reported, 

George Howard, on Military Affairs. 

Kenneth Rayner, on Finance. 

N. W. Woodiin, on the Supply of Salt. 

Asa Biggs, on Test Oaths. 

Wm. A. Graham, on the Legislative Department. 

George Howard, on the Executive Department. 

Thomas Ruflfin, ex-Chief Justice, on the Judicial Depart- 

James W. Osborne, on the Modes of Amending the Consti- 

David Schenck, on the Stay Law. 

Wm. S. Pettigrew, on the Rights of Foreigners, Schools, &c. 

F. B. Satterthwiiite, on Army Contracts. 

F. B. Satterthwaite. on the Assumption of the Confederate 

Thomas Ruffin, ex-Chic f Justice, on Taxation, Revenue, &c. 

John Manning, on the Coal Field Connection. 

Kenneth Rayner, on the Political Status of Citizens of the 
State who Hold Office under the United States. Also on a 
Constitutional Amendment in regard to calling the ayes and 

Wm. J. Ellison, on the Bill of Rights. 

George V. Stnmg, on Lands in Havwood County belonging 
to Alien Enemies. 

R. F. Armfield, on Distilleries. 

Archibald D. Williams, on the Propriety of Enslaving Free 
Negroes. This committee did not report. 

Goorge Howard, on Annual Elections and Sessions of the 
General Assembly. 

R. F. Armtield, on the 31st Section of the Constitution, in 


relation to clergymen being members of the General As- 

Wm, H. Thomas, of Jackson, on the Basis of Representa- 
tion, on Justices of the Peace, and on Public Schools. 

W. J. Headen, on Property Qualifications for Office, 


As stated by Mr. McCormick the Secession Ordinance was 
passed and ratified on the 20th of May, 1861.* On the next 
day all the 120 delegates publicly signed the same, the Con- 
vention ordering it to be deposited in the office of the Secre- 
tary of State. 

The Provisional Constitutiont of the Confederate States 
was adopted on the 20th of Alay, but, strangely, was not rati- 
fied until the 20th of June. The motiont to refer it to a vote 
of the people failed 72 to 34. 

The Ordinance^ adopting the Permanent Constitution of 
the Confederate States, passed on the f)th of June and was rati- 
fied June 19th, 1861. The motion, by ex-Governor Graham, 
to add a proviso, that full provision should be made for the 
representation of North Carolina in proportion to popula- 
ion, in presidential and congressional elections, was neg- 
atived, 39 to 79, The moticm to restrict speeches on the 
adoption of the Constitution, failed by 60 to 50. The motion 
to refer the Constitution to a vote of the people was nega- 
tived, 38 to 75. A motion to give the State the right to 
secede, whenever in her opinion the powers conferred on the 
Confederate States should be perverted to the injury of her 
people, received 26 votes for, to 88 against it. The vote for 
the Constitution on its adoption** was 117 to 0. The three 
absent members favored it. 

*Convention Journal, 1st Session, p. 26. 
•fConvention Ordinances, p. 30. 
^Convention Journal, 1st Session, p. 17. 
^Convention Journal, pp. 69-73. 
**Convention Ordinances, p. 28. 


It was evident that those who favored restricting" debate, 
and, on the other preliminary questions, voted in the nega- 
tive, desired to show their confidence in the Confederate 
Government b}' immediate and unconditional ratification. 
After this was accomplished, they favored the passag'e of the 
Ashe resolution. 

The Ashe resolution clearly claimed the right of secession 
for cause deemed adequate by a state in convention assembled, 
and that the powers conferred emanated from the people of 
the state in its sovereign capacity. The motion to suspend 
the rules for its consideration failed, 49 to S3.* Subsequent- 
ly the motion to lay it on the table received a tie vote 55 to 
55, and therefore failed. A special order coming on displaced 
the resolution and it was not called up again. The bulk of 
the opposition to its passage came from the ** Old Union" 


Ordinance to definef and punish treason against the State. 
Its terms are identical with those in the Federal Constitution. 

The question of the taxation]; of slaves according to their 
value, instead of by a per capita tax only on those between 
the ages of 12 and 50, which was the chief issue in the state 
political campaign of 18()(), was settled by a constitutional 
amendment requiring that land and slaves should be taxed 
according to their value, and that the capitation tax on free 
males between 21 and 45 years of age should be the sam^> as 
that on $300 worth of those properties. 

As Jews§ volunteered in the army and subscribed money 
for the war with as much alacrity as Christians, the clause of 
the Constitution debarring them from office, was changed to 
debar only those denying ** the divine authority of both the 
Old and New Testaments," 

^Convention Journal, First Session, p. 74, 
IConvention Ordinances, p. 7. 
tOonvention Ordinances, p. 32. 
^Convention Ordinances, p. 56. 


Another constitutional chang^e* required one fifth of the 
members present in the Senate and House of Representatives, 
to call the ayes and noes. 

The provisiont to prohibit United States' officers from 
holding office in North Carolina was changed so as to apply 
the prohibition to Confederate States' officers. 

The additional qualification J of six months residence in the 
Senatorial district, was required of voters for Senators. The 
amendment of 1857 required residence for twelve months in 
the State only. 

The Convention^ conferred on North Carolina officers and 
soldiers, in or out of the State, the right to vote for represen- 
tatives in Conjjfress, Presidential electors and state and county 
officers. Three freeholders of each company, under direction 
of the commander of the regiment, held the election and cer- 
tified the returns. 

The Ordinance** allowing citizens, entitled to vote for Gov- 
ernor in the county of their domicile, to vote in any county in 
the State, was made permanent during the continuance of 
the war, and was therefore virtually a part of the Constitu- 

It was voted by 93 to 18 that a seat in the Confederate 
Congress was incompatible with a seat in the Convention, 
and all the delegates elected to the Provisional Congress 
promptly sent in their resignations. 

Near the close of the Fourth Session, in May 1862, the Con- 
vention designated the following ordinances as being perma- 
nent and 

L The Ordinance to dissolve the Union. 

II. The Ordinance defining treason against the State. 

III. The Ordinance ratifying the Provisional Constitution 
of the Confederate States, 

♦Convention Ordinances, p. 56. 
fConvention Ordinances, p. 29. 
^Convention Ordinances, p. 158. 
^Convention Ordinances, p. 40. 
♦♦Convention Ordinances, p. 165. 
ttConvention Ordinances, p. 147. 


IV. The Ordinanre ratifyinj^ the Constitution of the Con- 
federate States. 

V. The Ordinance to amend the 4th Section of the 4th 
Article of the Amendments to the Constitution of the State. 
(Substituting- Confederate for United States. ) 

VI. The Ordinance in rehition to Taxation. (Taxing 
slaves as property.) 

VII. The Ordinance securin*^ to certain officers and sol- 
diers the rig"ht to vote. 

VIII. The Ordinance in relation to taking* the yeas and 
nays in the General Assembly. 

IX. The Ordinance to amend the 2nd Section of the 4th 
Article of the Amendment to the Constitution. (Allowing* 
Jews to hold office.) 

X. The Ordinance in relation to Electors of the Senate. 
(Requirint^ six months residence in the district.) 

XI. The Ordinance concerning* the election of Governor. 
(Requiring- election on 1st Thursday in Aug-ust, 1863.) 

XII. The Ordinance to allow certain persons (refugees) 
to vote for Governor in any other county than that in which 
they reside. 

The Convention claimed and exercised* authority over the 
General Assembly by changing the date of their adjourned 
session from June 2vSth to August 15th, 1861, as well as by 
repealing or modifying some of their acts. By expressly 
giving that body the power to repeal or modify certain ordi- 
nances, it seems to have been claimed, that without such 
authority they w<)uld be irropealable. Most lawyers, however, 
seemed to hold that an ordinance, in the nature of legislation, 
not made a part of the Constitution, would have no more 
sanctity than an act of Assembly. 

The c<mstructionJ had been i)laced on the State Constitu- 
tion that Governor Henry T. Clark, the successor, as Speaker 
of the Senate, of Governor Ellis, deceased, could hold the ex- 
ecutive office only while he continued to be such Speaker, 

^Ordinances of Convention, p. 7. 
tConvention Ordinances, p. 141. 


that is, until the election day, the first Thursday in Aug^ust, 
1862, As the Governor then elected would not be inaugu- 
rated until the 1st day of January, 1863, there would be an 
interregnum. To prevent this the Convention requ'red the 
term of the new Governor to bej^in on the second Monday in 
September 1862, and Governor Clark to continue in his office 
until that day. Colonel Z. B. Vance was elected over Col. 
Wm. Johnston. 


Early in June, 1861, in secret session, ex-Chief Justice Ruf- 
fin and ex-Governor Graham were appointed a committee to 
confer with President Davis in relation to the transfer of the 
military and naval forces of North Carolina to the Confeder- 
acy. * President Davis announced that, in accordance with 
his construction of an ucl of the Provisional Congress, in ac- 
cepting such transfer, the Confederate Government would ap- 
point all paymasters, quartermasters, commissaries and sur- 
geons, as well as generals of brigades and divisions. More- 
over, he stated that for the future he would make requisition 
on the States by companies and issue commissions to their of- 
ficers, where the requisite number of men should be furnished. 
The committee deemed it proj^er to declare their opinion that 
both these measures were unconstitutional, the States having 
the right to appoint all officers, but the convention took no 
official notice of their protest. 

The ordinancet of transfer was ratified on the 27th of June, 
1861. The ten regiments of '* State troops," enlisted for the 
war, were ordered to be turned over by reg-iments, and recruit- 
ing for them to cease August 20th following. The same dis- 
position was to be made of naval forces and vessels, the vessels 
not accepted to be sold. 

President Davis, having intimated that he would accept two 
thousand volunteers for twelve months in addition to the four 
twelve months regiments then in the Confederate service, the 

♦Convention Documents. 

f Convention Ordinances, p, 37.. 


same were directed to be turned over to the Confederacy to- 
gether with such others as the President, on a second tender, 
might be willing to accept, and all others were discharged on 
the 20th August. 

The Military Board was abolished on the same date, but 
the Military Secretary was continued until September 20th for 
settlement of military accounts. 

On the 14th of February, * 1862, in order to meet the requi- 
sitions of the Confederate Government then and thereafter to 
be made, the duty was imposed upon the Governor to call for 
volunteers for not exceeding three years, to be discharged 
sooner if the war should not continue so long. He was in- 
structed also to call upon the counties to furnish their quotas 
by volunteering. 

The Governor was further required to call upon the captains 
of twelve months volunteer companies to make known to them 
that it was the earnest desire of the Convention and of the 
people of North Carolina that they should enlist for three 
years or the war, and to put the question to each man indi- 
vidually as to whether he would enlist, and then to take his 
written agreement in case of consent. 

All volunteer companies re-enlisting could retain their ex- 
isting organizations, or reorganize at their option, electing 
new officers. The Governor was also authorized to appoint 
captains and lieutenants to recruit men lor three years or the 
war, provided that a ca[)tain must secure forty privates, a 
first lieutenant twenty-five, and a second lieutenant fifteen 

Future vacanciest in company offices were to be filled by 
promotion of those next in grade. 

As a further inducement a bounty of $50 was offered to all 
non-commissioned officers, musicians and privates for enlist- 
ments for the term mentioned. 

Also the Confederate Congress J was recommended to offer 

* Convention Ordinances, pp. 116-118. 
f Convention Ordinances, p. 113. 
tConvention Ordinances, p. 127. 


inducements, by bounties and pensions, by keeping the com- 
pcinies tog-ether and allowing" the men to elect their officers, to 
the one year volunteers in order to persuade them to re- 

Afterwards^ on May 12th of the same year, the S50 bounty 
was more specifically decided to be paid, to all volunteers be- 
tween eigfhteen and thirty-five for three years or the war, in- 
cluding- those accepted by the Confederacy and credited to 
North Carolina, to all volunteers of the same ag-es for less 
than three years or the war, who may continue in service by 
virtue of the Conscription Act ; to all persons, substitutes ex- 
cepted, mustered into companies already organized under the 
said act ; to all volunteers over thirty-five, and under eighteen 
declining to be discharged as allowed by said act, and all 
who volunteered after February 19th 1862. 

The lands on whicht were situate forts, light-houses, bea- 
cons, marine hospitals, the mint in Charlotte and arsenal in 
Fayetteville, were vested in the Confederate States on the 
same terms as they were held by the United States. 

The Confederate Congress!]; was by resolution requested to 
reopen the mints of the South. This request was never com- 
plied with. 

The State Librarian^ was ordered to transmit a set of the 
North Carolina Supreme Court Reports to the Department of 
Justice of the Confederacy. 

On the 6th of December 1861,** on motion of an old Union 
man, Mr. Hamilton C. Jones, the Convention reiterated its 
confidence in the justice of the Confederate cause, declaring 
that all sacrifices should be made for independence, and de- 
scribing in lurid terms ** the cruel and barbarous manner in 
which our enemies have carried on the war" * * '*in 
which robbery and arson are principal means of aggression". 

*Convention Ordinances, p. 163. / 

tConvention Ordinances, p. 36. 
^Convention Ordinances, p. 108. 
^Convention Ordinances, p. 49. 
♦♦Convention Ordinances, p. 51. 


"Our separation is final." Full confidence in President Da- 
vis was expressed as well as gratitude to our soldiers. 


Governor Ellis, on May 27th, 1861, reported that there were 
10,717 volunteers already accepted. The 10,000 State troops, 
enlisted for the war, had not been entirely raised. He esti- 
mated that, including these latter, 15,350 troops will be needed 
for State defence to cost $6,625,000 per annum, but it is certain 
that the Confederate States will accept and pay one reg-iment 
of cavalry, one of artillery and twelve regiments of infantry, 
leavingr for this State $3,120,968. 

From the arsenal at Fayetteville had been obtained 33,314 
of best muskets and 3,686 Mississippi rifles, of which were 
sent to Virg"inia 9,500. There were also one field battery, 6 
bronze cannon, and 2 iron 6-pounder field guns. 

There had been purchased of J. R. Anderson & Co., (Trede- 
gar Iron Works), of Richmond, Va., 9 cannon of different 
sizes. Fort Caswell had 24 guns, (cannon) ordered and 20 
more 32-pounders on the way, and 500 troops. 

Fort Johnston had 280 troops and 6 cannon, Bolle's Bat- 
tery, at Confederate Point, had 60 troops and 3 cannon. Rad- 
cliflfe Battery, 60 troops with 2 cannon and 150 more troops at 
Wilming"ton. Fort Point below New Berne had 46 cannon, 
troops not mentioned, (^cracoke had 1 cannon in position, 
with 14 on the way, one a long- 68-pounder. Hatteras had 16 
cannon, with 4 long 68-pounders on the way. Fort Macon, 
4 Columbiads reported, a number of 32's and 64's not report- 
ed, '*but the position fully armed." 

Of the officers of the army of the United States there were 
thirty-five appointed from North Carolina, of whom thirty- 
one were natives. Fourteen had tendered their services to 
the State, These were Major Theo. H. Holmes, Captains R. 
C. Galling", R. C. Campbell, Robert Ransom. First Lieuten- 
ants, Georg-e B. Anderson, W. D. Pender, R. H. Riddick. 
Second-Lieutenants, Jos. P. Jones, Sol. Williams, Alexander 
McRae, Lawrence S. Baker, Gabriel H. Hill, S. D. Ramseur, 


R. C. Hill. Besides these Captain John H. Winder, of 
Maryland, Major James A. Bradford, of Tennessee, and Sec- 
ond Lieutenant W. G. Robison, born in Canada, but appoint- 
ed from North Carolina, had also tendered their services. 

Of the cadets of the United States Military Academy at 
West Point the following- had resigned and tendered their 
services. Alexander D. Moore, James E. Craig-e, Georg-e S. 
Lovejoy, Oliver C. Petway, Paul F. Faison, (ieorge W. Clay- 
ton, Robert B. Cowan. John W. Lea. 

Of those in the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Wm. F. 
Moore, Thomas S. Galloway, Fisk. 

The following officers of the navy of the United States re- 
signed and tendered their services: Commanders John Man- 
ning and Wm. T. Muse, Lieutenants John T. Cook, W. E. 
Boudinot, John N. Maffit, Peter U. Murphy, Paymaster 
John Johnson; Professor of Mathematics A. W. Lawrence; 

Lieutenant of Marines, W W. Kirkland, and Master 

Kerr, Third Lieutenant in Revenue Service M. W. Brown. 

Steamers Ellis and Albemarle were purchased and steamer 
Kehukee chartered by the State.* 

In June, 1861, t the Governor was authorized to accept a 
half regiment, or battalion, of cavalry for the war, in addi- 
tion to the regiment already raised. 

Also recruits J were authorized to be raised for the 1st Reg- 
iment of Volunteers, which regiment was authorized to in- 
scribe '* Bethel " on its colors. § 

The Governor was empowered,** in his discretion, to trans- 
fer to Col. Wharton J. Green's Independent Regiment of Vol- 
unteers, certain companies, provided that no person should be 
so transferred without his written consent. 

On the 12th of December, 1862,tt the Governor was author- 
ized to receive a twelve months Battalion of Infantry, from 

♦Convention Documents. 
fConvention Ordinances, p. 30. 
^Convention Ordinances, p. 31. 
^Convention Ordinances, p. 6. 
♦♦Convention Ordinances, p. 50 and 55. 
ttConvention Ordinancee, p. 74. 


volunteers, who had belongfed to the LaFayette Lig'ht Infantry, 
and the Independent Light Infantry, of Fayetteville, which 
companies had belonged to the First, or Bethel, Regiment, 
with the right to be enlarged to a regiment, and to elect its 
own officers, but the battalion or regiment was to be trans- 
ferred to the Confederate Government as soon as practicable. 

On the 21st of January, 1862,* in anticipation of the ex- 
pected advance of the Federals, the Governor was authorized 
to order out such portions of the militia as he might deem 
necessary to repel the invasion of the State. Shortly before 
that datet the Convention ordained that the militia should 
not be required to assemble for drill and muster more than 
once in each month, except for battalion or regimental mus- 

The militia,:}; while in service, were to receive the same pay 
as volunteers. 

The Governor, § in February, 1862 was authorized to raise 
three companies of artillery for the defence of Wilmington, 

The State Quartermasters and Commissaries** were ordered 
to provide for North Carolina Volunteers, necessarily detain- 
ed at rail-road stations. 

Five thousand copiestt of the Confederate States Army Reg- 
ulations were ordered to be printed for the use of the troops 
of this State. 

A State FlagJJ was adopted; a red field with a white star in 
the centre; above the star, **May 20th, 1775 "and below it 
*'May 20th, 1861." There were two bars of equal width, the 
upper blue, the lower, white. 

Wm. R. Lovell§§ was paid $82 for advances by him for the 
use of sick soldiers at Manassas. 

♦Ordinances of Convention, p. 79. 
fOrdinances of Convention, p. 68. 
^Ordinances of Convention, p. 33. 
Ordinances of Convention, p. 114. 
♦•Convention Ordinances, p. 116. 
tfConvcntion Ordinances, p. 8. 
ttConvention Ordinances, p. 32. 
{gConvention Ordinances, p. 121. 


Rev. F. V. Hoskins* was allowed SlOO for two months ser- 
vices as Chaplain to the 7tli Regiment of North Carolina 
Volunteers, while prisoners of war in 1861. And Rev. Mor- 
ris H. Vaughant the same amount for like service of two 
months at Roanoke Station in the same year. 


The following legislation* shows the estimated expendi- 
tures submitted to the Convention in May, 1861. It certainly 
quickened the desire of the Convention for turning over 
troops to the Confederacy. 

/;/ the Field. 

One regiment of artillery, S 267,290 

One regiment of cavalry, 352,548 

Eight regiments of infantry at S240,348, 1,922,184 

Four volunteer regiments of infantry, 961,342 


For the Reserze, 

One regiment of cavalry, 352,546 

Five regiments of infantry, 1,201,740 

Total reserve; 1,554,288 
Aggregate expense of the fourteen regiments in 

the field and six regiments in reserve, 5,058,702 

Clothing 15,350 men at S30 each, 460,500 

Accoutrements $5 each, 76,750 

Horses 1191 at S150 each, $188,650 

Value at end of two years, two-thirds, 1 19.100 59,550 

Fixed ammunition, 427,126 

Bounty and contingencies, 427,126 

Twenty chaplains, S1800 each, 36,000 

Sixty surgeons and assistant surgeons, 91,200 

*Conventioii Ordiuances, p. 145. 
fConvention Ordinances, p. 143. 



General staff, includingf commissary's quartermas- 
ter's, paymaster's and commander-in-chief's- 
staff, 53,916 

Add estimate for tents, transportation and contin- 
gencies, makes a total, v 6,500,000 
Add estimates for naval expenditures, 125,000 
And the grand total was 6,625,000 
Assuming that the Confederate Government would assume 
the pay and subsistence of the fourteen regiments in actual 
service, the expense to the state was estimated at $3,120,986 
In February, 1862, the Committee of Finance, through Ray- 
ner, Chairman, reported the actual monthly expenses, as fol- 
lows : I omit cents. 

Disbursements for military 

Disbursements for other 



April, 1861, $ 6,295 

April, 1861, $ 29,316 

May, " 296,001 

May, " 64,200 

June, " 447,309 

June, '• 286,240 

July, " 525,436 

July, " 69,939 

Aug., '• 392,944 

Aug., '• 46,897 

Sep., " 501,025 

Sep., " 48,687 

Oct., " 590,173 

Oct., " 75,958 

Nov., '• 406,184 

Nov., " 68,293 

Dec, " 385,736 

Dec, " 44,878 

Jan., 1862, 425.856 

Jan., 1862, 189,293 

Total, $3,976,934 Total, $923,707 

The Committee state further that there was a very large 
amount of outstanding claims, not yet audited. The bounty of 
$50 to each of 38,000 troops would alone amount to $1,900,000. 
They estimated that the expenditures for the rest of the year 
would probably be greater than for the past year, owing to the 
preparations on an enlarged scale for the defense of the State 
and for a more vigorous prosecution of the war. 

The Committee did not state what portion of the foregoing 
expenses would be repaid by the Confederate Government. 

^Conrention Documents. 


The Convention* showed extreme anxiety for protection of 
the eastern section. The consideration of the Permanent Con- 
federate Constitution was postponed for many days in order 
to discuss the the ways and means. An Ordinance was rati- 
fied on the 28th of June, 1861, for the purpose of providing 
adequate means. It is a fair sample of the financial legisla- 
tion of the war. 

$3,200,000 was appropriated to meet the demands of the 
Treasury for two years. This sum was to be raised as fol- 
lows: $200,000 by issuing notes, payable on January 1, 1866, 
to bearer, designed to circulate as money, viz, $40,000 ten 
cent, $60,000 twenty five cent, and $100,000 fifty cent 

The public Treasurer to borrow from the banks, or private 
individuals, not over $3,000,000, including what had been 
loaned by the banks under Act, ratified April 11th, 1861. 
This act was repealed. 

To enable the Treasurer to borrow this money he was au- 
thorized to issue six per cent twelve months bonds. If he 
could not pay the same at maturity he was empowered to 
renew on terms deemed by him best, or negotiate new loans 
at his discretion. 

The banks, who should lend such part of the three million 
dollars as was proportionate to their capital, were authorized 
to issue $1, $2 and $2>4 bills, equal to five per cent of their 
capital stock paid in, and were relieved of the obligation to 
pay specie on any of their circulating notes during the con- 
tinuance of the loan. 

Falsely counterfeiting, or passing, state treasury notes was 
to be punished by standing one hour in the pillory, and re- 
ceiving thirty nine lashes on bare back, and being imprisoned 
not less than three years, all or any such punishments at the 
discretion of the court. 

On the 1st of December,! 1871, the Convention, in order to 
meet the demands on the treasury up to January 1st, 1863, 

♦Convention Ordinances, p. 42. 
fConvention Ordinances, p. 57. 


authorized the issue of three millions of dollars of circulating 
notes payable to bearer, on or before January 1st, 1865, to 
bear six per cent, interest. They were receivable for taxes 
and other state dues and exchangeable for six per cent, thirty 
years coupon bonds, at the option of the holder. The denom- 
inations were as follows: 

$5 notes. 








100 *' 




If any of these should be paid into the treasury they were 
to be cancelled but other notes were to be issued in their 

There were to be the same penalties for counterfeiting and 
passing these as in the case of the first issue. 

On the 25th of January, 1862,* the provision for interest 
was stricken out, and the amounts of the several denomina- 
tions changed, so that one half of the whole was to be of $5s, 
one fourth $10sand one fourth S20s, the object of course being 
to make them acceptable as a circulating medium. The re- 
sult, however, was that long before the war closed these notes 
were largely hoarded, as being of superior value to Confeder- 
ate notes. 

The ordinance in June, 1861, at first met with some criti- 
cism as being against the Provisional Constitution, but as it 
was passed after the ratification of the Permanent Constitu- 
tion, which contained no prohibition against the issue of bills 
of credit, the objection did not hold. 

There was excited discussion about removing the interest 
bearing feature from the issues of December. Mr. Woodfin 
championed the affirmative. He was aided by Mr. Thomp- 
son, of Wayne and others. The chief argument was that the 
payment of interest caused the notes to be hoarded, and 

♦Convention Ordinances, p. 79. 


where this was not done, their free circulation was impeded 
by the difficulty of circulation among plain people. Messrs. 
Ruffin, Graham and others opposed the change. It prevail- 
ed by 78 to 13. 

On the 6th of December, 1861,* Col. Dennis D. Ferebee was 
sent as a commissioner to arrange with the Confederate Gov- 
ernment for the payment by the State of the Confederate tax 
of fifty cents on each $100 worth of property. 

On the 17th of February, 1862,t the Convention assumed 
the pajrment of the Confederate tax. Treasury notes, bear- 
ing seven per cent interest, convertible into seven per cent 
coupon bonds, were to be issued for raising the amount due. 
A special tax was levied on the subjects taxed by the Confed- 

On the 26th of February, 1862,t ^^^ notes issued already 
were authorized to be funded in eight per cent, coupon bonds, 
also to be receivable for taxes and other public dues. When 
received into the treasury they could be paid out again. 
$2,500,000 additional notes were ordered to be issued, of 
which $1,000,000 was to be of the denominations of $2, $1, 
fifty cents, twenty-five cents and ten cents. It was made un- 
lawful for sheriffs and tax-collectors to receive the notes of 
banks refusing to take in and pay out State treasury notes. 

Shortly before the final adjourment further provision was 
made for the public treasury by the issue of additional treas- 
ury notes, aggregating $2,000,000, viz: 
$800,000 in five dollars, 
700,000 in ten dollars, 
500,000 in twenty dollars, 
10,000 in five cents, 
10,000 in ten cents. 

Authority was given to the public treasurer to employ clerks 
for signing the notes. 

He was further authorized to borrow any part of the 

♦Convention Ordinances, p. 56. 
f Convention Ordinances, p. 115. 
{Convention Ordinances, p. 129. 


$2,000,000 in advance of issuing the notes, to bepaid by them 
when duly signed, 

A tax on money on hand* equal to that at interest was im- 
posed, the rate being one fifth of one per cent. This was in 
February, 1862. 

The commissioners of Wilmingtonf were authorized on 
February 26, 1862, to borrow money for fortifying and 
defending the city and obstructing the river, but no ob- 
structions could be placed without the consent of the Confed- 
erate officer in command. The same privilege was extended 
to New Berne, Washington, and other towns asking for it. 

On February! 21st, 1862, a tax was levied of thirty cents 
per gallon on spirituous liquors made of grain until April 
15th, 1862. After that such manufacture was prohibited and 
made a misdemeanor. A tax of one dollar a gallon was levied 
on spirituous liquors of all kinds made out of the State and 
sold therein. 

The exemption from taxation § of $500 worth of property of 
each tax-payer, granted at the Second Extra session, 1861, of 
the General Assembly, was repealed. 

The volunteers** in the army were relieved of all poll tax 
for 1861 and all preceding years. 


A Board of Claims, ft three in number, was formed to audit 
all claims for advancements by counties, towns or individuals 
for troops prior to their being turned over to the Confederate 
government. They were to act on ** principles of equity and 
justice." They were to take an oath of office and have power 
to administer oaths and require affidavits. A clerk at $4 per 
day was allowed. They were to receive $6 per day, the Gov- 

♦Convention Ordinances, p. 127. 
fConvention Ordinances, p. 128. 
^Convention Ordinances, p. 119. 
§Convention Ordinances, p. 82. 
**Convention Ordinances, p. 35. 
tfConvention Ordinances, p. 5. 


emor to fill vacancies, and their findings to be reported to the 
Convention for payment. The ordinance was to expire on 
September, 15, 1861. 

On December 11, 1861, the ordinance was extended to Janu- 
ary 1st, 1863,* with the added duty to pass upon accounts of 
disbursing officers and agents, to report all guilty of fraud to 
the Grovernor for dismissal, and to the Attorney General for 
criminal prosecution. 

The Board was vested with the power of compelling at- 
tendance of witnesses, production of papers and enforcing an- 
swers by process of contempt. Disbursing officers were to 
make quarterly statements with vouchers. It was required 
also to make semi-annual reports to the Governor of the con- 
dition of the finances with suggestions, he to lay the same be- 
fore the Legislature. The commissioners were to be paid 
$2,000 per annum. They were to prepare the claims of this 
State against the Confederacy with proper vouchers. 

Subsequently the Boardf was directed in the recess of the 
Convention and after its adjournment to report to the General 

The reports to the Convention may be found on pages 62 to 
68, 123 to 127, 145, 146 to 149, and p. 162 of the ordinances. 

The votes for Commissioners^ of the Board of Claims were: 

Ofi the First Ballot, 

B. F. Moore 

received 48 votes, 

P. H. Winston, Jr., 



R. B. Vance, 



John H. Dillard, 



V, A. McBee, 



Thomas S. Ashe, 



John Manning 



S. F. Phillips, 



John Norfleet, 

i ( 


•Convention Ordinances, p. 75. 
fConvention Ordinances, pp. 45-14."^. 
JConvention Journal, p. 129. 


R. L. Patterson, received 20 votes, 
Joseph B. Batchelor, ** 33 
Patrick Murphy, '* 17 

M. B. Lanier, '' 4 

J. J. Erwin, " 6 

As 104 voted there was no election. 

On the Second Ballot. 

B. F. Moore, received 56 votes. 

P. H. Winston, Jr., '* 51 

S. F. Phillips, *' 49 

J. B. Batchelor, '' 46 

J. H. Dillard, ** 37 

The others, *' under 30. 
B. F. Moore was elected. 

On the Third Ballot. 

S. F. Phillips received 65 votes. 

P. H. Winston, Jr , ** 63 

J, H. Dillard, '* 39 

J. B. Batchelor, ** 40 

Winston and Phillips were elected. 
All the men voted for had high reputation for character 
and business sense. The decisions of the board met with uni- 
versal approval. 


The Committee on salt for the people* reported, through 
Mr. N. W. Woodfin, Chairman, that 500,000 bushels for one 
year were required, and that only 100,000 bushels were on 
hand ; at least 300,000 bushels would be needed in six or 
eight weeks ; that it was necessary to manufacture it on the 
sea-coast out of sea-water, because the only interior source of 
supply was at the works near Abingdon, Virginia. These 
furnished 2500 bushels a day, but that was only one tenth of 

•Convention Documents. 


the demand. Fortified by a letter from Dr. E. Emmons, the 
State Geologist, the opinion was expressed that salt could be 
made at the sea-coast at not over two dollars a bushel, even 
in winter. Dr. Emmons stated further that the French con- 
sume 14 pounds to the individual, and the English 22 and 
North Carolinians between these amounts. 

An ordinance* was offered providing that the State should 
undertake the work through a Commissioner, elected by the 
Convention. Ex-Governor Grahamf moved a substitute, to 
encourage the manufacture by private citizens, by giving a 
bounty of one dollar per bushel for one thousand bushels 
made in December, provided the product should be offered for 
sale at a price not exceeding two dollars per bushel, and sev- 
enty five cents bounty for a like amount made in February. 
This was rejected and the original ordinance, amended so as 
to allow the Commissioner discretion to establish works else- 
where than on the sea-coast, was passed by nearly four to 
one, and proved to be a most beneficent measure. 

Dr. John Milton Worth,! was elected over Phil. B. Haw- 
kins, Edward Wood, E. W. Bagley and Benjamin L. Perry, 
Mr. Hawkins receiving the next highest vote. 

The Justices of the Peace were to distribute the salt, at 
cost price. It was made a misdemeanor to buy any for resale. 
The salary of the Commissioner was fixed at $1500 per an- 

Afterwards, on the 9th of May,§ 1862, the Commissioner 
was vested with the extraordinary power, in case he could 
not agree with the owner of land needed for making salt, or 
for right of way to the works, as to the price thereof, to in- 
stitute proceedings of condemnation of the same under the 
right of eminent domain. Like power was conferred upon 
him, in case he should deem it advisable to bore for salt. 

He was also empowered to employ free negroes on the salt 

♦Convention Ordinances, p. 62. 
t Convention Journal, p. 49. 
^Convention Ordinances, p. 53. 
{Convention Ordinances, p. 151. 


works, and if he could not obtain as many as he needed, the 
Governor was required to impress them. 

All persons employed on the salt works were exempt from 
military or militia duty. 

The Governor* was requested to take steps for the manu- 
facture of sulphur and saltpetre for the use of the State, and 
to call upon the Confederate Government for ammunition for 
state militia and other forces. 

On the 30th of January, 1862,t the President and opera- 
tives, to the number of six, of a company chartered to make 
salt in Chatham county, were exempted from militia duty. 

The members of the Society of FriendsJ were exempted 
from military duty on payment of $100. Those unable to 
pay were authorized to be employed on the salt works or in 
the hospitals. 

The manufacture of cotton and wool cards§ was sought to 
be encouraged by offering to lend the cost of establishing 
such works not to exceed $10,000. 


On the 11th of December, 1861,** an interesting, but unsuc- 
cessful effort was made to stop speculation during the war in 
'* corn or other grain growing in the field, or any other corn 
or grain, pork or beef, fish salted or smoked, cheese, fish, cof- 
fee, sugar, tea, salt, saltpetre, or other dead victuals, and 
also leather." The ordinance was drawn with care by Mr. 
Badger, and proposed by him. He afterwards offered an 
amendment to the effect that indictments under the ordinance 
might be instituted on information by the State Solicitor, 
with a promise of a S20 fee in case of conviction. The friends 
of grand juries voted this down, whereupon the ordinance 
passed by 60 to 39. ft 

♦Convention Ordinances, p. 114. 
fConvention Ordinances, p. 82. 
^Convention Ordinances, p. 164. 
{Convention Ordinances, p. 122. 
♦♦Convention Ordinances, p. 69. 
ttConvention Journal, Second Session, p. 75. 


The following is the substance of the offences denounced :* 

(a) Engrossing by any one or getting into his hands, in 
any way, except by producing, any of the aforesaid articles 
with any other intent than for his own use, or that of his 
family, &c., or for sale at reasonable prices, or for giving to 
the poor. 

(b) Having any of said articles not for home consumption, 
or resale at reasonable prices, or charity, and refusing to sell 
at reasonable prices to those desiring to buy for home use, or 
for charity. 

(c) In any way advising another to raise prices of said 
articles, or dissuading from bringing the same to market. 

(rf) Entering into an agreement not to sell but at certain 

The above offences were to be punished as misdemeanors, 
and in addition to fine or imprisonment, or both, the offend- 
er was to be required to give sufficient security for good be- 
havior for three years. 

It may not be improper for one to add that I never heard of 
a conviction, or even a prosecution, under this ordinance. 
The spirit of modern commercialism was too strong to be con- 
trolled by mediaeval methods. 


Early in the session the Public Treasurer was directed to 
issue to the Wilmington, Charlotte and Rutherford Railroad 
Company (now the Carolina Central), the coupon bonds of the 
State, to which it was entitled, on April, 1st, 1861, for work 
done before that date. The amount, not stated in the (ordi- 
nance), was $250,000. 

The Washington (N. C.) and Tarboro Railroad Company,! 
with a capital stock of $400,000, was incorporated. 

Also the Florence and Fayetteville Railroad Company! was 

*Convention Ordinances, p. 42. 
f Convention Ordinances, p. 100. 
{Convention Ordinances, p. 166. 


granted a charter, with a capital stock of Sl,500,000. 

An amendment to the charter of the Western Railroad 
Company* (from Fayetteville to the coal fields of Chatham) 
was adopted, authorizing the company to receive $100,000 
from the State, without certifying that the requisite iron 
rails, chairs and spikes had been purchased. 

The charter of the Cheraw and Coal Field Railroad Com- 
panyt was amended, so as to allow the crossing of the Wil- 
mington, Charlotte and Rutherford Railroad, (now Carolina 
Central), west of Rockingham, not exceeding twelve miles, 
provided that equivalent work should be simultaneously done 
north and south of the last mentioned road, and further that 
the road should be completed to the coal fields within five 
years after the pending war. 

By ordinance of January 30th, 1862, t solvent corporations 
were authorized to subscribe to the capital stock of the Chat- 
ham Railroad Company, in order to connect the coal fields of 
Chatham with the North Carolina Railroad. These subscrip- 
tions might be paid with State bonds procured by giving the 
corporation bonds in exchange for the same. The State was 
to have a mortgage on the Chatham Railroad as collateral se- 
curity. Under this ordinance the city of Raleigh subscribed 
$50,000 and the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad Company $200,- 
000. After the war the name was changed to the Raleigh 
and Augusta Air Line Railroad Company. 

The Piedmont Railroad Company, § connecting the North 
Carolina and the Richmond and Danville Railroads, was char- 
tered after vigorous opposition on February 8th, 1862. This 
resulted in the building of the road from Greensboro to Dan- 
ville. The ordinance was urged as a necessary war measure, 
and probably would have failed if that argument had not been 

Also the Sapona Iron Company, with a capital stock of 

^Convention Ordinances, p. 160. 
fConvention Ordinances, p. 40. 
{Convention Ordinances, p. 83. 
gConvention Ordinances, p. 85, 


$1,000,000, with privilege of having twenty thousand acres of 
land, was chartered. Under this charter superior iron was 
made in the Deep river valley.* 


On February 10th, 1862, the Convention ordered a Court of 
Oyer and Terminerf to be held in Waynesville, in Haywood 
county for the trial of persons then in jail therein, charged 
with crimes, the Governor to designate a Superior Court Judge 
for the purpose. 

In June, 1861, t Col. Wharton J. Green tendered to the Con- 
vention a marble bust of John C. Calhoun from a plaster cast 
from life by the distinguished American sculptor, Powers, 
** trusting that the daily contemplation of the mute semblance 
of the exalted and incorruptible Senator may inspire our leg- 
islators through all time to come with the noble ambition to 
emulate his unswerving self sacrificing patriotism, and to im- 
itate his many other virtues, public and private." 

The donation§ was accepted with a resolution of thanks, 
Messrs. Venable, Craige and Smith, of Halifax, being ap- 
pointed to make arrangements for the formal presentation of 
of the bust to the Convention. 

Resolutions discountenancing party spirit** were defeated 
by a close vote, the peculiar friends of the Confederate and 
State administrations, knowing that discontent at the prefer- 
ence of original secessionists in appointments to office by 
President Davis and Governors Ellis and Clark was implied in 
the resolutions. 

This dissatisfaction was likewise expressed in the resolu- 
tion offered by Mr. John A. Gilmer that the Convention ap- 
point Colonels George B. Singletary and Z. B. Vance Briga- 
dier Generals, which was not pressed to a vote. 

♦Convention Ordinances, p. 154. 
tConvention Ordinances, p. 110. 
t Convention Documents. 
{Convention Journal, 1st Session, p. 89. 
♦♦Convention Journal, 2ud Session, p. 64. 


On May 1st, 1862,* Mr. Badger offered two strong resolu- 
tions. Firstly, that the Convention strongly approves a 
proclamation of the Governor,** rebuking a recent unconstitu- 
tional movement towards disarming the people." Secondly, 
that the Convention, having heard that citizens of this State, 
unconnected with the army, particularly Isaiah Respass, have 
been seized by the military authority and forcibly transported 
beyond its bounds to Richmond in Virginia, declares that 
such citizens are amenable only to civil tribunals, before the 
courts of the Confederacy or of this State,'such trial to be in open 
court according to due course of law. It was resolved that the 
Governor, if satisfied of the facts above stated, demand of the 
authorities of the Confederate States the return of said Respass 
other citizens, to be delivered to the civil authority for examin- 
ation, and if sufficient cause appear, for commitment and trial. 
The resolutions were hotly discussed, a motion to adjourn 
being defeated by over a two-thirds vote. After further dis- 
cussion, an adjournment was had and satisfactory action being 
taken by the Confederate authorities, a vote on the resolutions 
was not pressed. 

Authority was given to the cities and townsf of the State 
to prohibit the sale of spirituous liquors within their corpor- 
ate limits and one mile thereof. 

The patriotic fervort was not sufficient to make the dele- 
gates change their opinions as to color, whether black or 
copper-tinted. The 14th Chapter of the Acts of Assembly, 
at the second Extra Session of 1861, which allowed Indians 
to testify for or against the whites, was repealed notwith- 
standing the vigorous opposition of their advocate, W. H. 
Thomas, of Jackson, always a champion for the Cherokees. 
The vote was 66 to 32. 

On the last day of the Fourth Session, § on motion of Mr. 
Holden, afterwards Governor, the thanks of the Convention 

♦Convention Journal, 4th Session, p. 39. 
fConvention Ordinances, p. 153. 
{Convention Ordinances, p. 55. 
{Convention Journal, 4th Session, p. 109. 


were unanimously tendered to the ladies of the State for their 
** contributions to the Confederate cause, and for the patri- 
otic ardor which they have exhibited in behalf of the country 
in the prosecution of the war." 


Under the Provisional Constitution* of the Confederate 
States, the Convention elected delegates to represent the 
State at large, namely, William W. Avery and George Davis. 
Bedford Brown and Henry W. Miller received a large vote in 
opposition. For the districts, Wm. N. H. Smith was elected 
over Richard H. Smith, Thomas Ruffin, of Wayne, over 
George Green, Thomas D. McDowell over Walter L. Leak, 
Abram Venable over Archibald Arrington, John M. More- 
head over John W. Cunningham, Richard C. Puryear over 
Rufus L. Patterson, Burton Craige over Wm. R. Myers, Al- 
len T. Davidson over Nicholas W. Woodfin. In this election 
party lines were drawn. The "Old Union" men had held a 
caucus, at which ex-Governor Graham presided, and nomi- 
nated Brown and Miller for t*ie state at large, and W. N, H. 
Smith, Green, Leak, Arrington, Morehead, Puryear, Myers 
and Davidson for the Districts. The ''Original Secessionists" 
agreed to vote for Avery and Davis for the state at large and 
R. H. Smith, Ruffin of Wayne, McDowell, Venable, Cunning- 
ham, Patterson, Craige and Woodfin for the districts, wheth- 
er in caucus or not, I do not recall. There were enough 
independent members to prevent either party from claiming 
complete victory. Avery, Ruffin of Wayne, McDowell, Ven- 
able, Cunningham, Craige and Woodfin were original seces- 
sionists, while Davis, R. H. Smith and Patterson, were then 
acting with them. Brown, Miller, W, N. H. Smith, More- 
head, Puryear, Myers and Davidson were Old Union men, and 
Green, Leak, Arrington, were then acting with that party. 


Occasionally the Convention went into secret sessions, es- 
♦ Journal of Convention, First Session, pp. 118-128. 



pecially in regard to the eastern counties.* Indignation was 
freely expressed at the withdrawal of troops by the Confeder- 
ate government from some localities, and inadequate defence 
of others. Some members predicted that very many of the 
inhabitants would transfer their allegiance to the Federal 
government. Some thought that the negroes in the counties 
adjoining the sounds should be driven into the interior, but 
the proposal met with no encouragement. Mr. Pettigrew 
stated that on calling up his slaves for transportation to the 
up country, most of them took to the swamps. There was 
apprehension that there would be a general stampede to the 
Federal army, as soon as it should appear on our coasts. The 
principal speakers, so far as my memory goes, were Dr. R. K. 
Speed and Messrs. Saterthwaite, Rayner, R. H. Smith, S. B. 
Spruill, Pettigrew and Woodfin. After much debate the con- 
clusion was that the defense should be left to the Confederate 


There were two occasions when the excitement of the dele- 
gates generally was so great that it was impossible to carry 
on business for many minutes. The first was over General 
D. H. Hill's dispatch, announcing a victory at Big Bethel, 
with the loss of one killed and six wounded. Such turbulent, 
even frenzied, uproar is seldom witnessed. Men, who went 
wild over this petty skirmish, learned to be comparatively 
cool when hearing the news of tlie bloody victories of Manas- 
sas and Chancellorsville. The dispatch and subsequent de- 
tailed report by General, then Colonel, Hill were made to Gov- 
ernor Ellis, because the troops had not been transferred to 
the Confederacy. 

In the light of subsequent great victories by our troops it 
is difficult now to understand how firm and well balanced men 
should have been so wild over this trivial affair, in which the 
enemy stated their loss at only 150, while General Hill's im- 

♦Notes of Debates in Secret Session taken by the author. 


agination guessed at only 300. In view of the one killed and 
six wounded, he piously reported, '*Our Heavenly Father has 
wonderfully interposed to shield our heads in the day of bat- 
tle." Governor Ellis, in transmitting the report, calls the 
engagement a ** signal victory" and asked and obtained the 
privilege of thanking the ** gallant commander and the brave 
officers and men." He further requested that General Hill be 
promoted to be Brigadier General.* The Convention ordered 
3200 copies of the message and dispatch to be printed for the 
members. On motion of Mr. Spruill of Bertie a committee 
was appointed consisting of Messrs. Spruill, Rayner and 
Barnes to illuminate the Capitol and grounds in honor of the 
" brilliant victory." 

The second occasion, when many delegates lost their heads, 
was when Roanoke Island was captured. There was almost 
a panic for a few minutes. A few advocated an immediate 
adjournment. Some looked and acted as if there was imminent 
danger of Burnside's cavalry making a dash on Raleigh. 
But the cooler headed members soon brought the rattle-brain- 
ed to their senses. 

As a curious illustrationf of the ignorance of the resources 
of the United States prevailing in the South, I give part of a 
reply of Governor Ellis to a question by the Convention as to 
the alleged ** landing of foreign troops on the coast of North 
Carolina." On June 10th, 1861, he assured the Convention 
that the rumor was untrue and then used this language. '*If 
our batteries are properly served, a fact of which I could en- 
tertain no doubt, the power of the United States Navy is not 
sufficient to effect an entrance into any one of the Harbors of 
the State." 

That the batteries^ were well served is attested by the Res- 
olution of the Convention passed in the following December, 
expressing their ** undiminished confidence in the courage and 
loyalty of the officers and soldiers, who, after a long and se- 

*Convention Journal, pp. 90-101. 
f Convention Documents. 
{Convention Ordinances, p. 57. 


vere bombardment, were compelled to surrender to an over- 
whelming force, the inadequate defences of Hatteras on the 
29th of August last." 


As a rule the discussions were harmonious, but on two occa- 
sions anger got the better of decorum. The war of words 
was however the only interruption of amicable intercourse. 
When two venerable and distinguished members, whose seats 
were contiguous, after a short interchange of angry sarcasm, 
resumed their seats and turned their backs to each other, 
with countenances expressive of indignant wrath, the spec- 
tacle excited the sly and unexpressed merriment of all be- 
holders. Their friends, after the recess, soon restored their 
life-long friendship and the dos a dos position was never re- 

At another time a prominent delegate spoke to another in 
loud and hectoring language. The latter indignantly, but 
without threatening an immediate blow, strode toward the seat 
of his adversary. While members generally were fearing a col- 
lision. Judge Wm. M. Shipp quietly,but firmly,stepped between 
the two and gave the needed moment for reflection. In a short 
while an ample apology was tendered by the offender, who al- 
leged unstrung nerves from **sick headache" as the cause of 
his ill humor. 


The times were too serious for merriment as a rule. Mirth, 
however, was on one occasion sudden and irrepressible. 
A delegate, made a speech on the horrors of the war, 
the wickedness of the enemy and the justice of our cause, 
delivered with the peculiarly mournful and vociferous 
sadness once heard at camp meetings. Another delegate 
of great natural ability, then suffering from too fre- 
quent interviews with John Barleycorn, at the close of the 
war sermon, stepped forward and gravely shouted, *'Mr. 


President, I move that the front bench be set apart for the 
mourners." For several minutes the anxieties and responsi- 
bilities of legislation were forgotten. 


According to my recollection, ex-Governor Graham's ora- 
tion on the Test Oath was considered the ablest delivered in 
the Convention. A short speech by Mr. Fenner B. Satter- 
thwite against Soldiers's Suffrage, and one by Mr. C. R.Thomas 
on his resolutions discountenancing Party Spirit, had perhaps 
the clearest ring of eloquence. The number of strong and 
forcible speakers was so great that I will not attempt to enu- 
merate them. 


It is undeniable that there was in May, 1862, much dissat- 
isfaction among the people at the long continuance of the 
life of the Convention and its going so largely into general 
legislation. It was this evident displeasure that prevented 
the general revision and rewriting of the Constitution, which 
many of the wisest thought should be done. 

In truth there were too many great men, too many accus- 
tomed to be leaders, in the body for utmost efficiency. Many 
felt themselves compelled to give their views on every sub- 
ject proposed and thus discussion was prolonged at a time 
when the people were impatient of talk and clamorous for ac- 
tion. The public too could not understand why two legisla- 
tive bodies were necessary, and as the main object, for which 
the Convention was called, was accomplished, it felt that they 
ought to give way. The Assemblymen felt hampered in their 
action by being under the control of a body of superior power, 
and their dissatisfaction was countenanced by the *' original 
secession" party in the Convention, who had lost its control 
and advocated its dissolution. It thus came to pass that, while 
the members individually retained their hold on the people, 
there were no tears shed over their surrendering the reins of 



In order fully to understand the temper of the Convention 
it is necessary to mention the leading measures, which met 
with its disapproval. 


The Badger ordinance,* for which the Craige Secession or- 
dinance was substituted by a vote of 72 to 40, was designed 
to meet the views of those who did not believe that a state 
had the legal right of secession, but did believe in the right 
of revolution a^^ainst oppression. The hot language used 
shows the excited public feeling. The preamble asserts, 

1. That Lincoln and Hamlin were chosen by a sectional 
party, hostile to Southern institutions. 

2. That North Carolina, though aggrieved thereby, de- 
clined to join the states first seceding, but being ardently 
attached to the Union, remained therein, hoping that what 
was threatening might be removed and guarantees for secur- 
ity of our rights be given, in the mean time exerting her in- 
fluence for the accomplishment of these ends. 

3. While indulging this hope President Lincoln called on 
the states for troops to invade the seceding states, in order to 
subject them to military authority ; that there was no Act of 
Congress authorizing such call, and that such Act, if passed, 
would be unconstitutional. 

4. The call was answered with enthusiasm throughout the 
non-slaveholding states. 

5. It is evident from the tone of the press of those states 
and the avowal of their public men, that their ** government 
and people intend to wage a cruel war against the seceded 
states, to destroy utterly the fairest portion of their continent, 

'Convention Ordinances, p. 10. 


and to reduce its inhabitants to absolute subjection and abject 

6. President Lincoln without shadow of rightful author- 
ity, has " declared the ports of North Carolina as well as all 
the other Atlantic and Gulf States, under blockade, thus 
seeking to cut oflf our trade with all parts of the world." 

7. The whole conduct and words of said Lincoln have been 
false, disingenuous and treacherous. 

8. That he is governing by military rule alone, increas- 
ing army and navy without authority, and setting aside con- 
stitutional and legal restraints. 

9. His "unconstitutional, illegal and oppressive acts," his 
*' wicked and diabolical purposes," and his "position of usur- 
per and military dictator" were sustained by the non-slavehold- 
ing states. 

Therefore this Convention, in the name and with the sov- 
ereign power of the people of North Carolina declare, 

1st. All connection of government between this State 
and the United States, dissolved and abrogated, and this 
State to be a free, sovereign and independent state, owing no 
subordination, obedience, support or other duty to them, their 
constitution, or authorities. 

2nd. That ** this state has full power to levy war, con- 
clude peace, contract alliances, and to do all other acts and 
things which independent states may of right do." 

3rd. "Appealing to the Supreme Governor of the world 
for the justice of our cause, and beseeching Him for His gra- 
cious help and blessing, we will to the uttermost of our pow- 
er, and to the last extremity, maintain, defend and uphold 
this declaration." 

Ex-Chief Justice Ruffin, although a life-long Democrat, 
did not altogether approve Craige's Secession Ordinance, and 
oflEered to amend it, so as to read,* " Wc, the people of North 
Carolina, do declare and ordain that the Union, &c., is here- 
by dissolved," &c. He omitted the clause repealing the Or- 
dinance of 1789, which ratified the Constitution. The vote 

*Coiiveiition Ordinances, p. 1.4 


against the Ruffin ordinance was 66 to 49. Its wordinf^ im- 
plies that he concurred with Mr. Badger in the view that the 
Union was indissoluble except bj revolution. 

The following ordinances failed to meet with the favor of 
the Convention. No further explanation of them is neces- 

Allowing free negroes to enslave themselves.* 

Debtors in prison bounds to be allowed to go free during 
the war.* 

Making the selling of cotton yarns for over $1.50 per bunch 
of five pounds a misdemeanor.* 

Ordinance creating a Minister of War.* 

To repeal the Stay Law passed by the General Assembly, 
54 to 52.t 

Mr. Woodfin's ordinance* to deprive the courts of all civil 
jurisdiction during the continuance of the war, and to give 
Superior Court Judges the power of calling criminal courts 
for trial of felonies. 

A "Self Denying Ordinance," prohibiting a member of the 
Convention from holding any other office. t 


The effort to pass an Ordinances making Seditious Lan- 
guage highly criminal, and requiring astringent Test Oath to 
be taken by all males of the State, except volunteers, under 
penalty of banishment or disfranchisement, which was re- 
ported by a committee, of which Judge Asa Biggs was Chair- 
man, was defeated, after an able debate. Judge Biggs was 
the leader for, and ex-Governor Graham against the proposi- 
tion. As the measure well shows the fervid temper and stern 
earnestness of purpose of a portion of our citizens, I give an 
analysis of it. 

•Convention Documents. Not voted on. 
fConvention Journal, 3rd Session, p. 39. 
JConvention Journal, 1st Session, p. 40. 

JConvention Documents. Printed as appendix to Graham's speech 
on the Test Oath. 


Either of the following oflfences was declared a high misde- 
meanor, punishable with fine and imprisonment, with oblig-a- 
tion to give good security for three years. 

(a) Attempting to convey intelligence to the enemy. 

(3) Publishing and deliberately speaking or writing against 
our public defence. 

(c) Maliciously and advisedly endeavoring to excite the 
people to resist the Government of this State or of the Con- 
federate States, or 

(d) Persuading them to return to a dependence on the Gov- 
ernment of the United States. 

(e) Knowingly spreading false and dispiriting news. 

(y^ Maliciously or advisedly terrifying and discouraging 
the people from enlisting into the service of the State or of the 
Confederate States. 

(g) Stirring up or exciting tumults, disorders, or insurrec- 
tions in this State. 

(A) Disposing the people to favor the enemy. 

(0 Opposing or endeavoring to prevent the measures car- 
rying on in support of the freedom and independence of the 
Confederate States. 

Two or more credible witnesses, or ** other suflScient evi- 
dence," were suflBcient to convict. 

Any Judge, or Justice of the Peace, on the oath of one wit- 
ness, that either of the above offences, has been committed 
must bind the accused with good security to appear at the 
next county court, and, if he failed to give such security, he 
must be sent -to prison. 


Every free male in the state, except volunteers in the army, 
idiots and lunatics, and prisoners of war, must, before an of- 
ficer authorized to administer an oath, take an oath, 1st, of 
allegiance to the State ; 2nd, that he will to the utmost of his 
power defend the independence of the Confederate States ; 
3rd, that he renounces allegiance to the United States ; 4th, 
that he will support the Confederate States, and this State. 


Certificates of this oath were returnable to the Clerk of the 
County Court, to be recorded. 

Any Justice of the Peace could cite one neglecting to take 
the oath to appear before the County Court. If he should 
fail without sufficient reason to attend, or if attending, should 
refuse to take the oath, the Court may order him to leave the 
State, and depart out of the Confederate States, within thir- 
ty days. 

If the Court allowed him to remain, he was disabled to vote, 
or hold any "office, appointment, license or election of trust 
or profit, civil or military," nor could he be a member of the 
General Assembly. 

If any person should disobey the order of the Court to quit 
the State within thirty days, it was made the duty of the 
Judge or Justice, knowing the fact, to have him arrested and 
brought before the County Court. The Court must then send 
him out of the Confederate States at his expense, causing the 
Sheriff to sell enough of his property to pay the expenses and 
the costs of arrest and detention. 

If any person so departing, or sent off from this State, 
should return, he should be guilty of treason, the punishment 
of which was death. 

It will be noticed that the oath was to be required of all 
aliens, even citizens of a friendly nation, residing in North 

The speech of ex-Governor Graham against this ordinance 
was extremely forcible and gained many votes. That of Mr. 
Dick was praised for its impassioned eloquence, Mr. Biggs 
on the other side was the strongest, but he gained few sup- 
porters. Only 22 favored the measure on the final vote, 
while 79 were recorded in the opposition.* 

As ex-Governor Graham's fire was principally against the 
Test Oath part of the ordinance, Mr. Rayner introduced the 
the part defining and punishing Seditious Language.f It fail- 
ed by 45 to 29. 

♦Convention Journal, 2nd Session, p. 69. 
f Convention Journal, 4th Session, p. 51. 


An ordinance of similar nature to the above,* proposing to 
confiscate the property of citizens, who should abandon the 
State, or who being resident in the United States, should not 
return, met with a similar fate. It was postponed to the 
next session by a vote so decisive, 25 to 12, that it was never 
called up again. 

The ordinance of Mr. Leak of Richmondf to create an Ex- 
ecutive Council and give it virtually dictatorial powers, was 
summarily defeated. The Governor was to be a member, and 
the council could declare martial law, arrest and imprison 
any they might deem to be disloyal, seize private property 
for public use, order into the military or police service such 
part of the population of the state as it may deem proper, 
draw upon the public treasury at discretion, purchase arms 
and ammunition to an unlimited extent and appoint and pay 
as many officers as it might choose. 


The proposition! that the constitution should in future be 
ameuded only by a convention of the people, abolishing the 
mode of amending by legislative enactment and submission 
to a vote of the people, reported favorably by a majority 
of a special committee, whose names do not appear, met with 
no favor. There was a strong dissenting opinion submitted 
by the late Governor HoWen and Mr. E. A. Thompson. 

The motion§ to strike out of the Constitution the require- 
ment that the people shall vote by ballot received only the 
vote of the mover. 

Mr. Badger's motion** that the Constitution be amended so 
that no law, or resolution having the force of law, shall be 
passed except by a majority of all the members of both houses, 
was defeated, 44 to 37. 

^Convention Journal, 1st Session, p. 191. 
f Convention Documents, 
t Convention Documents. 
{Convention Journal, 4th Session, p. 61. 
♦♦Convention Journal, 4th Session, p. 64. 


Mr. Woodfin's motion* to make federal population, instead 
of taxation, the basis of the Senate, received only 19 votes, as 
against 62, 

Near the closingt days of the last session, ex-Governor 
Graham moved to call a convention especially for amending 
the Constitution. The proposition received only 24 votes, to 
31 against it, not a quorum voting. 

The ordinance! to elect judges by the people met with no 

Although the Convention finally adjourned without rewrit- 
ing the Fundamental Law, or making other amendments than 
those heretofore mentioned, yet committees, composed of men 
of great legal ability and political experience, were appoint- 
ed to put in a more orderly shape, and suggest amendments 
to, the Declaration of Rights and the several Articles of the 
Constitution. Although these reports failed to become oper- 
ative, they are both interesting and instructive to those who 
wish to understand the course of our civil development. The 
following statement will show the changes contemplated and 
the names of the members of the respective Committees. 


The reiK)rt on the Declaration of Rights made by W. J. El- 
lison, was strongly adverse to '*any alteration affecting the 
existing relations or constitutional rights and privileges of 
the free negro." The committee, on account of ** the rever- 
ence and veneration at all times due to that Declaration," 
recommended only the following changes. 

1. Add to the 7th Section, "nor shall any person be sub- 
ject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or 

2. Add to the 12th Section, ** nor shall right or justice be 
sold, denied or delayed to any one, nor shall private property 
be taken for public use without just compensation." 

♦Convention Journal, 4th Session, p. 71. 
tConvention Jonrnal, 4th Session, p, 107. 
JConrention Documents. Not voted on. 


The Committee call attention to the fact that the foregoing 
additions are portions of the 9th Section of the first Article 
of the Constitution of the Confederate States, except the 
words, '*nor shall right or justice be sold, denied or delayed 
to any one," which are part of Magna Charta. 

3. The Committee recommend the striking out of the 2Sth 
Section, relating to the State's boundary, as being now en- 
tirely inaccurate, and because a description of boundaries 
should not be in a declaration of principles. 

The Committee were Ellison, Chairman, Badger, Holmes, 
Ruffin of Alamance, Dick. 


The Committee on the Legislative Department, to wit, 
Graham, Rayner, Smith of Halifax, Strong, Meares, Brown, 
Foster of Randolph, Caldwell of Rowan, McDowell of Bladen, 
Woodfin, rearranged the constitutional provisions relating 
thereto, with the following changes and additions. 

1. The General Assembly to have power to disfranchise 
for bribery. 

2. No President, Cashier or Treasurer of a corporation, in 
which the State shall be a stockholder, to be a member of the 
General Assembly. 

3. The Presiding Officer of the Senate to be called Presi- 

4. No person, not entitled to vote, to be a member of the 
General Assembly. 

5. Members of the General Assembly to be privileged from 
arrest, except for treason, felony or breach of the peace, dur- 
ing their attendance and going to and returning from their 
sessions. {Eutido^ mot undo ^ et ad propria redeundo). 

6. No act appropriating over SSOO to be passed except by 
a majority of all the members of each house, 

7. The public debt not to exceed twenty million dollars 
principal, but debts for carrying on the Confederate war, for 
suppressing insurrection and repelling invasion not to be in- 
cluded in this limit. 


8. The office of Auditor of claims against the State to be 
created, while the duties of Comptroller were left as before. 

9. Jews to be allowed to hold office, as the Convention had 
already voted. 

10. The article defining and punishing treason to be iu- 
cori>oratXid in the words of the United States Constitution, as 
has been stated. 


The following are the changes recommended by the Com- 
mittee on the Executive Department, Howard, Dillard, Green, 
Leak of Richmond, Arrington, Gilmer, Headen, Miller, Gal- 
loway, Greenlee. 

1. The property qualification of the Governor to be in- 
creased from one thousand pounds, ($2000), in real estate to 
$5000, of which $2000 shall be real estate. He must be a cit 
izen on the 22nd of February, 1862, or a native citizen of the 
Confederate States. 

2. The term of office of the Governor to be three years. 
He was not to be eligible for two consecutive terms. He was 
to enter in his office on January 1st next after election, hav- 
ing previously taken the oath of office before the General As- 
sembly or Chief Justice. 

3. The power of laying embargoes and prohibiting ex- 
ports was omitted. 

4. The Governor must sign revenue bills and bills appro- 
priating money. If he should refuse, the bill could not be 
passed except by a two- thirds vote of each house. If the bill 
is not returned by the Governor within six days, Sundays ex- 
cepted, it is to become a law. Likewise a bill sent to the 
(Governor one whole day before adjournment, and not return- 
ed, is to become a law. 

5. • The office of Lieutenant Governor was to be created. 
In the closing days of the last session, on May 12th, 1862, 

an effort was made to pass the Lieutenant Governor Ordi- 
nance as a single amendment to the Constitution. On motion 
the special order was postponed in order to take it up, the 


vote being understood to be a test of its strength. This pre- 
vailed* by 37 to 26. A motion to submit the ordinance to a 
vote of the people,! prevailed by 35. to 33, whereupon certain 
of its friends joined with its opponents in tabling it, 49 to 204 


Committee : Ruffin, of Alamance, Biggs, Battle of Edge- 
combe, Sanders, Strange, Badger,Kittrell, Johnston, Mitchell, 
McDowell of Madison. 

Ex-Chief Justice Ruffin, as Chairman, reported a substitute 
for all provisions of the old Constitution, as amended in 1835, 
embodying the following changes : 

1. The Judicial power to be vested in one Supreme Court; 
in Superior Courts of Law and Courts of Equity ; in County 
Courts, and in Justices of the Peace. 

2. The Supreme Court to consist of a Chief Justice and 
three Associate Justices, to be called Justices. 

3. The Superior Courts of Law and Courts of Equity to 
consist of one or more Judges, at the discretion of the Gener- 
al Assembly. 

4. Two terms of the Supreme Court to be at Raleigh, as 
nearly as may be, half a year apart. 

5. The General Assembly may provide for more than two 
terms of the Superior Courts in each county, in which case 
they may increase the terms of the Supreme Court. 

6. County Courts to be four times a year, not less than 
three justices to be a quorum. The old name Court of Pleas 
and Quarter Sessions, changed to County Courts. 

7. All the Courts mentioned, including Justices of the 
Peace, shall have the jurisdiction possessed on May 20th, 
1861, but the General Assembly may enlarge their jurisdic- 

This made all the Courts independent as to their existing 

♦4th Session Journal, p. 100. 
f4th Session Journal, p. 101. 
t4th Session Journal, p. 101 2. 
§Convention Documents. 


8. Three Justices of the Peace for each one thousand in- 
habitants, and no more, to be elected by the County Courts 
and commissioned by the Governor, to own in the county a 
freehold in land, assessed for taxes at $100. Justices then in 
office to be continued. 

Note. The number under the old Constitution was unlim- 
ited, and no property qualification was prescribed. They 
were appointed by the General Assembly, usually on the nom- 
ination of the members from their counties, 

9. The Justices to be removed for conviction of an infa- 
mous crime, corruption or other misdemeanor in office, instead 
of as theretofore for '* misbehavior, absence or inability" by 
the General Assembly. By the change the conviction in 
Court was to remove the offender, and he was to be forever 
disqualified to hold any office under the State. 

10. The General Assembly to have power to establish 
courts in cities and towns, and to give them such jurisdiction 
in civil cases, as it may deem best. 

11. The General Assembly may establish police courts in 
cities and towns with power to tax and punish, in a summary 
manner, those accused of misdemeanors, and of violations of 
the bylaws. 


The Committee on this subject, viz, Ruffin, of Alamance, 
Chairman, Smith of Halifax, Pettigrew, Thomas of Jackson, 
Badger, Biggs, Mitchell, McDowell of Madison, recommend- 
ed that in lieu of the 3rd Section of the 4th Article of the 
Amendments of 1835, the following in substance be substi- 

1. All free males over 21 and under 45 years of age only 
pay a capitation, or poll tax. 

2. This to be not less than the tax on $300 worth of land. 

3. Land and slaves to be taxed according to their value. 

4. Tax on slaves not more than that on land. 

5. Tax on slaves may be, (a) on their general average 
value in the State, or {d) on their value in classes in respect 

♦Convention Documents. 


to age, sex and other distinctive properties. The mode must 
be prescribed by law. 

6. Exemptions may be of, («) soldiers in service, (b) of 
free males or slaves for bodily infirmity, (c) such real es- 
tate as hath hitherto been exempted by law. 

7. The public debt, including that created before March 
1st, 1861, not to exceed $20,000,000 principal. No debt to be 
hereafter contracted unless authorized by yea and nay vote of 
the whole number of members of each house. 

8. The Sinking Fund to be continued and duly applied to 
the existing debt until paid. If there is a deficiency it must 
be supplied by taxation or loans. 

9. In contracting future debts, the General Assembly must 
levy a tax in the act authorizing the same, sufficient to pay 
the interest annually, and also not less than one per cent of 
the principal for 34 years ; this one per cent to be a sinking 
fund, to be invested in the bonds of this State, or of the 
Confederate States, or some one of them, to be applied to the 
payment of said debt. This special tax shall be irrepealable 
until the debt is paid, unless adequate provision is made by 
taxation for the same object. 

10. Temporary loans not over $100,000 at onetime, may be 
authorized payable out of the taxes of that or the succeeding 
year, by a yea and nay vote of all the members of each house. 

11. The foregoing limits may be exceeded to any amount 
in case of war, insurrection or invasion. All moneys received 
from the Confederate States in liquidation of debts increased 
for carrying on the present war shall be applied to those 
debts, if practicable, if not, shall go into a sinking fund for 
such purpose. The deficiency, if any, shall be supplied by 

It is interesting to note what of these suggested amend- 
ments have beon since adopted, i. c., by the Conventions of 
1868 and 1875. They are : 

1. In the Declaration of Rights is the clause, *' All courts 
shall be open ; and every person for an injury done him or 
his lands, goods, person, or reputation, shall have remedy by 
due course of law, and right and justice administered without 


sale, denial or delay." This is the substance of one amend- 
ment recommended by the Committee, 

2. The provision in regard to the boundaries of the State 
was not stricken out as was recommended, but greatly sim- 

3. That, in regard to being twice put in jeopardy for the 
same offence was not adopted. 

4. In the existing Constitution the President of the Sen- 
ate in absence of the Lieutenant Governor, is called in one 
section President, in another Speaker. 

5. The test of voting and holding office are made the 

6. Office of Auditor created, but that of Comptroller abol- 

7. The treason ordinance adopted. 

8. The term of office of Governor made four years, instead 
of three. He is not allowed two successive terms. 

9. Power of Governor to lay embargoes and prohibit ex- 
ports is omitted. 

10. Office of Lieutenant Governor created. 

11. The Supreme Court made independent of the General 
Assembly. The powers and jurisdiction of the Superior and 
other Courts are likewise beyond the power of the General 
Assembly, but that body can distribute that power and juris- 
diction among the several Courts. 

12. One Chief Justice and four Associate Justices in exist- 
ing Constitution. 

13. Also terms of the Supreme Court to be at Raleigh. 

14. The principle of proportioning in several districts the 
number of Justices of the Peace to each one thousand inhabi- 
tants has been adopted by the General Assembly in pursuance 
of power granted by the present Constitution. 

15. The duty of the General Assembly to levy a special 
tax to pay interest and provide a sinking fund for debts con- 
tracted under certain circumstances, is in the new Constitu- 
tion, as is also the existence of no restriction in case of 
insurrection or invasion, 

16. No debt incurred except by an yea and nay vote. 


17. Equalization of the capitation tax and that of $300 
worth of land. 

18. Mr. Woodfin's proposal to have population the basis 
of the Senate adopted. 

It is not probable that the legislators 4yi 1868 and 1875 
consciously used the ideas of those of 1862. The prior work 
of the wise men of the older date was hid away in some 
pigeon hole in the Capitol and practically inaccessible. 


I venture to hope that the reader will find in my mono- 
graph much that will throw light upon the public temper 
during the terrible civil war. The members of the Conven- 
• tion of 1861 were accurate representatives of our people. By 
studying their action we get a glimpse of the frenzied ex- 
citement of the times, the spirit of intolerance and persecu- 
tion, the enormous expenditures, the lavish issue of bonds 
and circulating notes, recalling the weltering financial chaos 
of the Revolution, the measures taken for the defense of our sea- 
board and to relieve the necessities of soldiers and citizens, and 
to fill up our armies without resort to the dreaded law of con- 
scription. We see too that while many members thought only 
of war and the means of carrying it on, there were others suf- • 
ficiently calm to desire to make important amendments to our 
Constitution. Fortunately I preserved the Convention Doc- 
uments, two octavo volumes of them, and from the summary 
which I have given, can be seen the well considered opinions, 
regarding changes in our fundamental law, of Ruffin, Gra- 
ham, Badger, Biggs, Woodfin, Howard, Ellison and other 
astute and experienced lawyers and statesmen. A study of 
the Convention, what it did and what it refused to do, will 
show that even in the days of war, when the air was full of 
sulphurous wrath and wild boastings, North Carolina pre- 
served a fair measure of dignified courage and thoughtful res- 
olution to dare the most and endure the worst. 


James Spfunt Hislotical Wlu, 

ioL» v*i4»l** 


t>" ""' 

Career of 

Nathaniel Macon 


tov H*"'*!' 

.x.<.- .■^. 

f . 

The University of North Carotiru Btbiicathns 

James Sprunt Historical Monograplis 

NO. 2 

. "" The Congressional Career of 
Nathaniel Macon 


Followed by letters of Mr.JAacoii and Willie P. ManKntti 
with notes by Kemp P. Battle, LL.D. 



'\un r' '90^^ 

rK.)^. GcOU. 


7%e Unkferstty B-ess 
Chapel Hm 


There appears to be a marked revival of the admiration and 
affection felt by our fathers for Nathaniel Macon. It is hoped 
therefore that those interested in the history of North Caro- 
lina and of the United States will appreciate the publication, 
as the second of the series of the James Sprunt Monographs, 
of a paper on his Congressional career, showing* his votes and 
arguments for or against the great questions which arose for 
solution in the formative period of our government. The 
treatise was prepared by a student in the History Department 
of this University, Edwin Mood Wilson, A.B., Guilford Col- 
lege and University of North Carolina, and A.M., Haverford 
College, now Instructor in History in the Haverford College 
Grammar School, who won the prize offered by Dr. Charles A. 
Hill. To give the monograph additional value, twenty-three 
characteristic letters by Mr. Macon are appended, and one by 
Senator Willie P. Mangum to Hon. Bartlett Yancey, Speaker 
of the State Senate, the originals of which are owned by 
the University. The attentive perusal of Mr. Wilson's paper 
and of these letters will enable the reader to form an' accurate 
estimate of the political life-work, and incidentally of the char- 
acter, of one of North Carolina's best known public men. I 
give in the foot-notes such facts in regard to the persons and 
things mentioned by the writer as in ray judgment will be 
appreciated by those readers who have not books of reference 
at hand. 

Kemp P. Battle. 


Men have ever honored their destroyers more than their 
benefactors. It is a strange and inexplicable fact that those 
characters who have marked their pathway with destruction 
of property and life, have been most honored by their admir- 
ing fellows. The power to organize and direct all forces of 
destruction has been regarded as the highest form of genius, 
— almost an inspiration from divinity itself. This tendency, 
so universal among men, has not disappeared with the prog- 
ress of civilization•^ and in spite of the enlightenment and 
humanity of the age, we continue the practice of bestowing 
our most lavish praises upon those who have paved their way 
to renown with **dead men's bones." Thus it is that we have 
been taught to regard the achievements of an Alexander or a 
Caesar as more important than those of a Cleisthenes or a 
Gracchus; for this reason it is that the career of Napoleon, a 
career marked by evidences of the most profound and power- 
ful genius, but withal a most unscrupulous and unholy geni- 
us, is regarded as more splendid than that of the Capets, the 
men who first organized France and made it possible for a 
great nation to grow up from a mere aggpregation of petty 
states. For the same reason also, we Americans have learn- 
ed to regard the military achievements of Washington as 
more important than the services he rendered the infant na- 
tion as statesman and executive. We think of the heroes of 
Lexington and Bunker Hill with a glow of patriotic feeling, 
but forget that such men as Jefferson, Franklin, and their 
colleagues, were not less instrutnental in bringing the gpreat 
struggle for liberty to a successful and honorable close. In 
short, we have come to believe that he who, in the service of 
his country, stains his hands with blood, is greater than the 
man who, in the more retired field of legislative duty, strives 


ever, in as noble a way, to accomplish the same result. It is 
a noble thing to die for one's country; is it less noble to live 
for it? Both of these ideas are suggested by the public ca- 
reer of the subject of this essay, Nathaniel Macon; and it is 
to be hoped that, from the study of the lives of such men, we' 
shall form a higher ideal of the duties and privileges of the 
statesman; and shall be the more convinced that a nation's 
strength lies not in its wealth alone, not in its size nor age, nor 
yet in its mighty armaments, but in the virtue and public 
spirit of the leaders of the people, — in its honest, high-mind- 
ed men. 

In the historic county of Warren, (at that time Bute), in 
North Carolina, in December, 1757, was born Nathaniel Ma- 
con. His ancestors on his father's side were Huguenots who 
came over from France after the revocation qf the Edict of 
Nantz to escape the consequent persecution. His mother's 
people were North Carolinians, belonging to that plain, hon- 
est, upright yeomanry, which is the real source of power and 
vigor in all national life. Born of such parents and reared in 
the atmosphere of such a home, it is but natural that we 
find the young man at an early age striving to become inde- 
pendent of the limitations which scanty means and humble 
birth imposed upon him. So faithful was he in all his efforts, 
and such promise of future greatness and usefulness did he 
evince, that friends came to his aid, and he was sent to 
Princeton College to be educated. Here he prosecuted his 
studies with characteristic zeal and system until the outbreak 
of the Revolution in 1776. He at once quitted college and 
went on an unimportant expedition against the British; but 
upon its successful termination he returned to his studies. It 
was not long, however, before he felt that he must return to 
his native State and enlist in her defense. Consequently we 
find him, early in life, contending in that gpreat struggle for 
liberty, which was eventually to end in the transformation of 
thirteen small British colonies into as many sovereign Amer- 
ican States. 

While engaged in this struggle he was, without his solici- 
tation or knowledge, elected a member of the State Legisla- 


ture. He reluctantly followed the advice of his commanding 
general, Greene, resigned his commission in the army, and at 
once entered upon his duties as a member of the Greneral As- 
sembly. He served continuously for several years in this ca- 
pacity, and so faithful and eflBicient was he in the discharge 
of his duties in those days of distrust and uncertainty that a 
few years later he was chosen to represent the people of his 
district in the lower house of Congress, and took his seat as a 
member of the Second Congress at the l>eginning of its first 
session in 1791. Here, then, begins the Congressional career 
of Nathaniel Macon, a continuous public life of thirty-seven 
years, characterized by calm reasoning and honest judgment; 
and withal a career destined to reflect much glory upon him- 
self j^nd upon the State of his nativity. 

In order to be able properly to appreciate the public career 
of a great man it is necessary that we acquaint ourselves with 
the political and social conditions which prevailed during his 
time, and with which he was compelled to deal. Macon's pub- 
lic life may be said to have begun with the establishment of 
the American Union. The Declaration of Independence had 
been signed fifteen years before he entered Congress, and the 
colonies had existed as coordinate independencies for more 
than ten years under the Articles of Confederation. The Fed- 
eral Constitution had been ratified two years previous to the 
time of his election, but it had not yet secured the confidence 
of the people, nor, indeed, gone into full operation. The new 
instrument was yet to be tried by the people who had adopted 
it, and no one could predict what the verdict would be. There 
were already in process of formation two political parties, 
founded on a difference of opinion as to the nature and proper 
functions of the new government. One party, headed by such 
men as Hamilton, Jay, and Adams, held the doctrine of the 
* 'Implied Powers" of Congress under the Constitution, and 
declared that Congress was empowered to exercise, at its dis- 
cretion, powers not expressly delegated to it by the Constitu- 
tion. The practical application of this doctrine would tend 
to centralize the powers of government in federal authority. 


The other party, headed by Jefferson and his colleagues, held 
a directly opposite political creed, — that of a strict construc- 
tion of the constitution, giving the Federal government but 
little authority, and regarding the different States ''sover- 
eign and independent as to all powers not expressly delegated 
to the Federal government." From these two constructions 
of the constitution arose the greater number of the more im- 
portant questions which came t>efore Congress in the early 
history of the republic. Mr. Macon, in common with the 
the majority of members from the Southern and Middle States, 
held the ''strict constructionist" view. He had adopted this 
view after long And careful deliberation, and, once convinced 
that it was correct, he held to it with the tenacity character- 
istic of the man. His speeches, and the stand he took on all 
constitutional questions which came up for consideration dur- 
ing his public life, are attributable, in greater or less degree, 
to his construction of the language of that instrument. The 
logic of events has since proved the doctrine of the implied 
powers to be the more feasible theory of government; yet it 
was perhaps fortunate that such conservative men as Macon 
held the opposite view. The people were at first very jeal- 
ous of the powers which the constitution delegated to the 
Federal government, and the presence in Congress of such 
men as Macon gave a quieting assurance that was most salu- 
tary in its effect, that nothing would be done looking toward 
an abridgment of popular liberties without distinct warning 
from their representatives. 

Mr. Macon took his seat October 28, 1791. That he was 
immediately recogfuized as a man of somt prominence and 
ability is shown by the fact that early in the following month 
he was appointed on a committee with Page, of Virginia,* and 
Murray, of Maryland,! to prepare and introduce a bill, fix- 
ing the number of representatives according to popula- 
tion. It was a matter of importance. With the greatest 

♦John Page. 

f William Vans Murray, afterwards Minister to the Netherlands, and 
Commissioner with Chief Justice Ellsworth and Governor William R. 
Davie to avert war with France. 


difficulty the Convention, which framed the Federal con- 
stitution, had effected a compromise between the differ- 
ent States in regard to their representation in Congpress. 
The constitution provided that Representatives should be 
apportioned to the several States according to their Federal 
population, but limited the number to one Representative for 
every thirty thousand inhabitants. When it devolved upon Con- 
gress to make the appointment after the first census had been 
taken, the question arose whether or not the number of Rep- 
resentatives should be determined by dividing the entire pop- 
ulation of the country by the number taken as the basis of 
representation, or by dividing Wa^ population of the respective 
States by that number, and taking the sum of the quotients. 
After prolonged debate a resolution was passed, (Mr. Macon 
voting in the negative), declaring that the number of Repre- 
sentatives should be, until the next enumeration, one for every 
thirty thousand of the whole population, and Macon, Page, 
and Murray — the committee referred to above — were appoint- 
ed to bring in a bill pursuant to the resolution. Their bill 
was passed, but was returned by the President without his 
concurrence. He objected to the bill, noted as the object of 
the first Executive veto, on the ground that the obvious mean- 
ing of the constitution was, that the allotment of Representa- 
tives should be made according to the population of the re- 
spective States, and that, as drawn, the bill allotted to eight 
States more than one representative for every thirty thousand 
inhabitants. Macon refused to support the attempt to pass 
the bill over the President's veto, and it was finally decided 
that the ratio of representation should be one for every thir- 
ty-three thousand of the Federal population of the respective 

During the next few years Mr. Macon steadily increased his 
popularity by his very careful and faithful performance of 
duty. His party was in the minority and could offer no very 
determined resistance to the Federalist policy. Mr. Macon 
seldom spoke on the questions that came before the House, 
and we have no means of knowing what was his position with 


regard to the greater number of them except when the yeas 
and nays were taken. He was almost invariably present to 
register his approval or disapprobation of all public measures, 
and he did so regardless of the attitude of any other man, if 
that attitude did not correspond with his notions of justice or 
expediency. In the first session of the Fifth Congress, how- 
ever, we find him participating in nearly all the debates on 
questions of national policy. The country was excited over 
the prospect of the war with France. The neutrality of the 
United States in the war between France and England and 
the subsequent ratification of the Jay treaty with England, 
had greatly incensed the French government. It declared 
that the ratification of the Jay treaty released France from 
the obligations of the treaty of 1778, and French cruisers be- 
gan to make wholesale capture of American ships. Matters 
had been allowed to go from bad to worse until there was 
prospect of hostilities between the two countries. In March, 
1797, President Adams was informed by Pinckney, our Minis- 
ter to France, that he had been refused recognition by the 
Directory, and had been treated as a suspected foreigner. The 
President at once issued a proclamation convening Congress 
in extra session on the fifteenth of the following May for the 
purpose of determining the policy of tbe government. The 
attitude of the Federalists was expressed in Adams' declara- 
tion that the '^action of France ought to be repelled with a 
decision which shall convince that government and the world 
that we are not a degraded people." The Republicans were 
very anxious that no belligerent utterances should be sanc- 
tioned by Congress, and bitterly opposed the very patriotic 
policy of the Federalists. Early in the session resolutions 
. were introduced providing for the defense of the chief Amer- 
ican ports, the equipment of a navy, raising additional reve- 
nues, etc. Macon opposed the resolution on the ground that 
the propositions involved needless expense, especially in fit- 
ting out and manning the vessels; that no measures should be 
taken, contemplating war with France, until further negotia- 
tions should prove it necessary; and that the resolutions, as 


introduced, conferred too much power upon the President. The 
matter of making loans, applying- the moneys thus obtained, 
raising troops, etc., ought not to be placed in the hands of one 
man. The resolutions were passed in spite of all opposition, and 
subsequently bills were introduced and passed appropriating 
money for the fortification of harbors, authorizing a loan of 
$800,000, apportioning militia to the different States; and all 
other preparations deemed necessary were provided for. It 
was proposed to raise the revenue necessary to carry out 
these measures by increasing import duties and laying a 
stamp tax on law licenses, naturalization certificates, letters 
patent, and similar special privileges. Mr. Macon, who had 
by this time become one of the leaders of the opposition party 
in the House, was vehement in his denunciation of the- pro- 
posed tax of $20 on naturalization certificates. He thought 
it would fall very heavily upon foreigners who desired to 
come to this country, many of whom were unable even to 
pay their passage over. His speech precipitated a lively de- 
bate on the subject of immigration. The proposed tax was 
finally cut down to $4. 

On April 2, 1798, the President sent to Congress the dis- 
patches he had received from the commission which had been 
sent to France to adjust matters. They gave a full account 
of the famous '*X Y Z" negotiations. He had previously laid 
before Congress the matter of the French depredations on 
American commerce. No word had yet been received from v/ 
the commissioners looking to a definite settlement of the 
troubles, favorable or unfavorable, but the national feeling 
was high, and the Federalists began to make extensive prep- 
arations for war. They began by introducing a bill authori- 
zing the President to raise a provisional army of twenty 
thousand men, Mr. Macon and his colleagues opposed the 
bill, arguing, first, that it delegated legislative power to the 
President, and secondly, that it was unnecessary. Macon 
thought that no steps should be taken looking toward war 
until we heard definitely from our commissioners that there 
was no other hope of redress. He contended that the charge i^ 


that he was opposed to measures-of defense was false; that he 
was only opposed to unnecessary expenditures, and thought 
that sufficient defense had been provided for at the last ses- 
sion. The bill was passed in a modified form. The next 
measure was a bill creating the Department of a Navy. Ma- 
con opposed it in the same resolute manner, and on the same 
grounds, but it was passed by a strict party vote. These bills 
were quickly followed by another which the opposition de- 
nounced as a virtual declaration of war — an act authorizing 
the President to instruct the commanders of American vessels 
to seize and bring into port, for trial by the law of nations, all 
armed vessels which might have committed, or were hovering 
over our coast with the purpose of committing, depredations 
on American commerce, and to retake any American ships 
which had been captured by such vessels. Mr. Macon argued 
that while the present situation was humiliating, it was bet- 
ter than war; that in spite of frequent depredations upon com- 
merce, our trade and revenue were constantly increasing, the 
nation was growing; but that we could not look for a continu- 
ation of these things if war were declared. He was frank 
enough to admit,however that he stood ready to give his hearty 
support to a war if nothing could avert it. Following out the 
same general policy, he opposed unsuccessfully the bill sus- 
pending commercial intercourse, the bill abrogating the 
treaties with France, the bill appropriating six hundred 
thousand dollars for jiew vessels, and the bill authorizing the 
President to commission public and private armed vessels to 
capture French armed vessels, wherever found. The act lay- 
ing direct taxes for raising the additional revenue required 
met with no great opposition from the Republicans. While 
Macon's policy of avoiding war except as a last resort may be 
justified by the termination of the trouble with France, it 
is certainly a plausible claim that the determined attitude of 
the Federalists convinced France that we were a people not 
to be trifled with. 

It was during the extra session of 1797 that Mr. Macon al- 
lowed himself to become involved in the trouble between 



Blount,* of North Carolina, and Thatcher,t of Massachusetts. 
Blount, a brother of Senator Blount, who had recently been 
exi)elled from the Senate on the charge of plotting- to deprive 
Spain of the Louisiana Territory and give it to England, con- 
strued a remark made by Thatcher during- one of the debates 
as a charge that he belonged to a French faction; and sent 
Thatcher a challenge. Macon carried the challenge, and re- 
ceived a most scathing rebuke from Thatcher when he pre- 
sented it, for countenancing "that most foolish custom of 
duelling." No official attention was paid the matter by the 
House, but Mr. Macon did not improve his reputation by his 
connection with the affair. 

In 1798 two measures, designed to accomplish party pur- 
poses, were passed by the Federalist majority in the House 
and Senate, and obtained the approval of the Federalist Pres- 
ident, Adams, who was at that time at the height of his pop- 
ularity. These measures were known as the "Alien and Se- 
dition Acts." The former was an act for the removal of "such 
aliens bom, not entitled by the constitution and laws to the 
rights of citizenship, as may be dangerous to its peace and 
safety." The bill also conferred upon the President the pow- 
er to order the withdrawal of any alien, under penalty of im- 
prisonment if the order should be disobeyed. The Sedition Act 
was intended to punish persons who should conspire to oppose 
measures of the government, or who should intimidate office 
holders. That the act was directed against the Republican 
journalists is plain from the fact that to libel, by any "scan- 
dalous writing, printing, publishing, or speaking" the Presi- 
dent, the two Houses of Congress, or any Court, or Judge 
thereof, was constituted a crime punishable by heavy fine 
and imprisonment. Almost all the foreigners in the country 
were Republicans, and their bitter opposition to Adams and 
his policy had aroused the hatred of the Federalists. The lat- 
ter determined to rid themselves of these men, who seemed to 
them to be attempting to destroy the liberties of the coun- 
try, as well as of Americans, who were inclined to criticise 

*^homas Blount, who was a Colonel at Eutaw. 

tGreorg^e Thatcher, from the Maine Distriot of MaMachnaetts. 


too freely and independently the Federalist administration 
and policy. The Alien Act was unjust to foreigners; the Se- 
dition Act was a direct blow at the liberty of the press. Gal- 
latin* and Livingstonet led the opposition to these acts in the 
House, having the hearty support of Macon and the other 
members who took the same view of the constitution as him- 
self. Mr. Macon argued that the acts were neither constitu- 
tional nor necessary; that the Alien Act conferred upon the 
President too much power over the liberties of individuals. 
The Sedition act he denotmced in the strongest terms. He 
had no doubt in his mind that the bill was in direct opposi- 
tion to the constitution. Mr. Otisf had said that the bill was 
conformable to common law. He (Macon) knew that persons 
might be prosecuted for libel under the State governments, 
but this bill proposed to take from the States the regulation 
of the press and give it to the national government, More- 
over,if a law like this was passed, abridging the liberty of the 
press, Congress would have the same right to set up an estab- 
lished church, and prohibit the free exercise of religion, as 
**all are contained in the same clause of the constitution." 
He furthermore declared it to be his belief that the law 
would entirely fail of its purpose. Extreme measures of re- 
straint invariably operate in a manner directly contrary to 
that intended by their originators. If the people were dis- 
satisfied with the government, the proposed law would only 
tend to augment and crystallize that dissatisfaction. The 
people suspect that something is wrong when the govern- 
ment seeks by law to suppress free discussion. **They know 
that truth is not afraid of investigation," and may always be 
as safely trusted with free discussion as their representatives. 
This particular bill might be comparatively harmless, but it 
was at least the beginning of a policy which would lead no 
one could tell where. He affirmed that he held the liberty of 
the press a sacred matter, and one that ought to be left where 

♦Albert Gallatin , of Pennsylvania, afterwards New York. 
lE^ward Iriving-stone, of New York, afterwards Lrousiana. 
fHarrisoD Gray Otis, of Massachusetts. 


the constitution had left it, in the hands of the state govern- 
ments. He feared that the act would give rise to number- 
less abuses. Subsequent events proved the wisdom of Ma- 
con's opinion. The acts reacted upon the heads of their orig- 
inators and did much to hasten the downfall of the Federalist 
party, They were the direct cause of the passage of the fa- 
mous "Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions" by the Legisla- 
tures of those States, declaring the "Alien and Sedition Acts, 
and some other statutes, unconstitutional, void, and no law." 
These resolutions were never laid before Congress, but nu- 
merous petitions were introduced at the next session asking 
for the repeal of the acts. After another heated discussion it 
was decided by a strict party vote not to repeal. Mr, Macon 
preserved substantially the same attitude toward these meas- 
ures so long as they were in force. 

In the elections of 1800 the Republicans were for the first 
time victorious. When the electors met and counted the 
votes for President, they found that Jefferson and Burr had 
each received 73 votes, Adams 65, and Pinckney 67. It then 
devolved upon the House to choose between Jefferson and Burr. 
When the House met to decide the matter, tellers were ap- 
pointed from the respective States to examine the ballots of 
each State. Mr. Macon was appointed teller for North 
Carolina. The first ballot showed eight States for Jefferson, 
six for Burr, and two — Maryland and Vermont — divided. 
The House balloted fruitlessly for four days amid the great- 
est national excitement and apprehension, but on the thirty- 
sixth ballot Maryland and Vermont voted for Jefferson, . and 
Delaware and South Carolina cast blank ballots. The vote 
of the North Carolina delegation, of which Mr. Macon was 
teller and leader, was invariably *'6 for Mr. Jefferson." On 
the first ballot only one of the votes of North Carolina was 
cast for Burr, but later by strenuous efforts three others were 
secured for him. Mr. Macon was able, however, to hold ^< 
a majority of the delegation for Jefferson, and cast the vote of 
the State for him on every ballot. 

The tables were turned now, and the Republicans had the 
President and a majority of both Houses of Congress. The 


transfer of Gallatin to the Cabinet had left Macon the party 
leader in the House, and when Congress met in December, 
1801, he was elected Sx)eaker by a flattering- majority. He 
accepted at once, remarking that he did so with much diflS- 
dence, but that he should strive to attend to the duties of his 
office with absolute fidelity and impartiality. At the close of 
the session, he received an unanimous vote of thanks for the 
able and impartial manner in which he had filled the position. 
That this expression was sincere is proven by the fact that he 
was continuously re-elected to that responsible position until 
the tenth Congress, when a new incumbent* was chosen, Mr. 
Macon not being able to be present at the opening of the ses- 
sion because of severe illness. It was a great achievement for 
any man to be able to g-ive such complete satisfaction in the 
midst of such stirring times. Measures anticipating war 
with foreigfn countries, internal affairs, party disputes, con- 
stantly engaged the attention of Congress, and often the dis- 
cussions were most bitter and personal. The fact that Mr. 
Macon gave general satisfaction speaks volumes for the in- 
tegrity and absolute fairness of the man. 

During the first session of this Congress a question arose 
upon which Mr. Macon took a more prominent and pronounced 
stand than he had hitherto assumed in any of the debates. 
The question was the consideration of the "Senate Judiciary 
Bill." In the elections of 1800 it was seen that the people 
had grown tired of Federalist rule, and that all branches of 
the government would soon be in the hands of t)ie Republi- 
cans, The Federalists therefore resolved, iu order to perpet- 
uate their influence in the government, to pass a judiciary 
act, creating new courts, new judges, and new officials. All 
the appointments to the offices thus created were made by 
Adams just previous to his retirement from the Presidency, 
and were at once confirmed by a Federalist Senate. As soon as 
Jefferson and his party came into power they proceeded to 
neutralize this work of the Federalists by repealing the Judi- 
ciary Act. The repeal bill was introduced into the Senate by 

^Joseph B. Vamuni, of Massachusetts. 


Breckenridge* on January 6th, 1802, and aftefamost heated 
discussion passed by a majority of one vote only. The Senate 
bill was sent to the House February 15th, and its discussion 
continued with great vehemence from that time until March 
3rd. The opponents of the measure sought to have further 
consideration postponed until the following December, but 
lost their motion by astrict party vote, and the bill was passed 
repealing the act. Mr. Macon's most important speech in 
Congress thus far was made early in the discussion of the re- 
peal measure, and was delivered with much force and enthusi- 
asm. He ridiculed the argument which his opponents had 
advanced that the repeal was unconstitutional, when they 
themselves had said in the debate on the passage of the Judi- 
ciary Bill that Congress had power to enact such legislation 
as might seem proper in the case at issue. He believed that 
the repeal was constitutional. The constitution of his native 
State allowed its General Assembly to create or abolish courts 
as it saw tit. The same power which could create a law es- 
tablishing courts could certainly repeal that law if it deemed it 
expedient to do so. He believed the lately established judi- 
ciary was not required by the exigencies of the government, 
and he heartily favored its abolition. More than that the 
General Assembly of North Carolina has passed resolutions 
asking for the repeal, and he felt bound to follow their in- 
structions. Mr. Macon also replied to some of the state- 
ments of the opposition with great sarcasm and vigor. He 
denounced as basely false, and as utterly abhorrent to a truly 
American spirit, the accusation that his party wished the 
courts viciously formed. Not less scathing was his denun- 
ciation of the opposition for intimating that civil war might 
result from the repeal of the act. 

In this speech Mr. Macon also evinced his admiration for 
North Carolina, and his great charity for the opinions even 
of those who were disposed to malign him and his party. In 
reply to the statement of an opposition Congressman from 

John Breckenridge, of Kentucky, grandfather of John C. Brecken- 



i^orth Carolina* that in that State it had been found * 'neces- 
sary to have judg'es to protect the people from their worst en- 
emy, themselves," Macon observed warmly that he **had 
thought that we, the people, formed this government, and 
could be trusted with it. *My colleague never could have ut- 
tered that sentence had he not been governed by that passion 
which he supposed governs others. It is true that we are not 
a rich and wealthy State, but it is equally true that there is 
no State in the Union more attached to law and order." In 
closing his speech he calmly observed that he would not un- 
dertake to say that all who differed from him in opinion were 
disorganizers and Jacobins. 

While Macon was so pronounced in his opposition to the 
Judiciary Act, he did not favor the impeachment of Judge 
Chasef which followed as part of the Republican attack 
upon the Judiciary. He had '*grave doubts whether 
a judge ought to be impeached for expressing to a grand 
jury political opinions which every man was permitted 
to hold and express elsewhere." Whether or not the conduct 
Df the judge warranted impeachment, the Republicans would 
have done well to follow Macon's advice. 
y Mr. Macon was fully in sympathy with Jefferson's policy of 
( retrenchment, and assisted materially in the latter's plans for 
1 a **chaste reformation" of army and navy, and in reducing 
\ the general expenses of the government. However, after se- 
curing the passage of the Pdace Establishment Act of 1801, 
/ authorizing the President to sell a large part of the navy, 
and to reduce the number of sailors and officers, he was com- 
pelled reluctantly to consent to a declaration of war against 
the Barbary powers, and to resume the **hated Federalist pol- 
icy of building a navy." The wisdom of the latter course be- 
comes evident in the light of the effect the small American 
squadrons produced upon Tripoli, and later upon England in 
the war of 1812. 
/ Closely following the assembling of the eighth Congress in 

♦Archibald Henderson. 

fSamuel Chase, of Maryland, Judge of the Supreme Court of the 
United States, impeached for arbitrary conduct on the bench and ex- 
pressing political opinions in a charge to the grand jury. 


1802 beg-an the very important debates on the Louisiana I 
question. The issue at first was whether Congress should \ 
authorize the ratification of the' **Treaty of Cession" from the J\ 
French government. Here we have the interesting spectacle 
of the Federalists and Republicans setting forth constitution- 
al views directly opposed to those which they had held a few 
years previous. The Federalists, although bitterly opposed 
to Jefferson's pet scheme of cession and annexation, could not 
deny the constitutional power to acquire territory and make 
treaties; but they contended that Congress had no power to 
annex a foreigti State, and that the power to annex territory 
had never been delegated to the Executive and two-thirds of 
the Senate, but depended entirely upon the assent of each in- 
dividual State. Those ardent States' Rights Republicans, 
Randolph,* Nicholsonf and Rodney, J defended the administra- 
tion policy chiefly on the ground that the power of Congress 
to annex territory was implied in the power to make treaties, 
and on the ''necessary and proper" clause which had hitherto 
been so obnoxious to the Republicans. Macon took no part 
in the debate, but sat calmly in his seat while Randolph closed 
the argument. Whether or not his constitutional views i^ 
account for his silence we cannot say. He certainly did not ( 
openly oppose the action of his party. He took no active part ( 
in the passage of the bill authorizing the President to take [ 
possession of the territory gained by the cession. When,v 
however, the Senate bill, vesting the government of the terri- 
tory in a Governor and Legislative Council of thirteen mem- 
bers, appointed by the President, who together should be em- 
powered to make laws conformable to the constitution of the 
United States, was under consideration Mr. Macon spoke out 
and condemned the measure as undemocratic. He thoug-ht 
the territorial form of government best suited to the people 
of Louisiana. The people of the Mississippi Territory were 

*John Randolph, of Roanoke, Virginia, 
t Joseph Hooper Nicholson, of Maryland. 

ICaesar A. Rodney, of Delaware, afterwards Attorney General of 
the United States. 


living under that form of government, and as they were very 
much like the people of Louisiana, it seemed to him that the 
same kind of government would be suitable for the latter. He 
thought they were not prepared for a State government, but 
that the exercise of territorial government would eventually 
prepare them for Statehood. The objectionable section of the 
bill was struck out, but the Senate not concurring, the House 
was finally compelled to accede to the demand of that body, 
and the section was incorporated in the bill as finally passed. 
In December, 1810, the matter came up for final settlement 
in the form of a bill "enabling the people of Louisiana to 
form a constitution and State Government, and for the ad- 
mission of such State into the Union on the same footing with 
other States, and for other purposes." On December 17 the 
Speaker had appointed Macon chairman of the committee to 
report on the admission of Orleans Territory as a State, On 
the 27th Macon reported the bill mentioned above admitting 
Louisiana and West Florida to the Perdido as a State. There 
was doubt, however, as to the claim of the United States to 
West Florida, and on January 9th, 1811, the bill was amend- 
ed by withdrawing West Florida from its operation. The 
debate on this bill was particularly memorable because during 
its progress the first formal declaration of the doctrine of se- 
cession was made in the halls of Congress. Mr. Quincy,* in a 
speech delivered on Janury 14th, violently attacked the meas- 
ure, declaring that *4f this bill passes, it is my deliberate 
opinion that it is virtually a dissolution of this Union; that it 
will free the States from their moral obligation; and, as it 
will be the right of all, so it will be the duty of some, defi- 
nitely to prepare for a separation^amicably if they can, vio- 
lently if they must." This utterance caused not a little ex- 
citement. Macon supported his bill on the ground that it 
was undoubtedly constitutional, and that it ought to be pass- 
ed for the benefit of the people of the territory in question. 
The right to create States out of acquired territory was one 
which he had always contended for. He did not want provin- 

*Josiah Quincy, of Massachusetts, son gf the Revolutionary patriot. 


ces, but he did want to give these people their rights. Their 
French descent was no reason for keeping them out of the 
Union. Nor did it concern Congress who their Senators and 
Representatives would be. It was true that Orleans was a 
slave territory, and he would be glad if the people could get 
rid of their slaves; but that matter in no way affected the 
question at issue. The House accepted his view and by a 
large majority passed the bill. ,** 

Mr. Macon's official conduct in regard to the war of 1812 
has frequently been characterized as inconsistent and un- 
statesmanlike. Seldom was such a charge preferred against 
him. Let us see what his conduct really was. 

With the outbreak of the war between France and England 
in 1795 both countries began to restrict and destroy American 
commerce. British cruisers made such wholesale captures of 
American vessels and such outrageous impressments of Amer- 
ican seamen that in March, 1794, a '*temporary embargo was 
laid, forbidding vessels to depart from American ports." The 
difficulties were partially settled for the time by the ratifica- 
tion of the Jay Treaty in 1795, but the treaty was by no 
means satisfactory. These troubles, which eventually led to 
the war of 1812, began again in 1803 with the renewal of war 
between France and England. The British admiralty courts 
decided that goods which started from French colonies could 
be captured, even though they had been landed and reshipped 
in the United States. English ships at once began to make 
captures and wholesale impressments of American seamen. 
Jefferson was loth to give up his peace policy, but matters 
grew worse and he was forced to adopt defensive measures of 
some sort. Wishing to avoid war, he determined upon three 
other remedies. The first was to provide some means of de- 
fense; the second to negotiate a favorable treaty with Eng- 
land; and the third was a policy of commercial restriction. 
Early in the first session of the tenth Congress, (1807-8), sev- 
eral measures were introduced into Congress looking toward 
the accomplishment of these plans. Coast fortifications 
would cost forty or fifty millions; and in lieu of them it was 


proposed to build gun-boats which could be manned and put 
to sea whenever necessity should require. The Senate bill 
broug'ht up in the House in November, 1807. was opposed by 
Macon as incomplete and extravagant. He thought it not 
advisable to devote so large a sum as $850,000 to such an 
equivocal means of defense; and furthermore, the bill was in- 
complete in that it made no provision for manning the boats. 
The bill passed, however, by the enormous majority of 111 to 
19. The wisdom of Mr. Macon's course in objecting to it af- 
terwards became evident. The boats cost, all told, nearly 
$2,000,000, and were of little service. 

All negotiations to secure a satisfactory treaty were fruit- 
less. In the mean time the third part of Jefferson's policy was 
adopted by Congress. When the resolutions, that no goods be 
imported from England and English colonies, were laid before 
the House, Macon opposed them in an exhaustive speech. In 
his opinion the nation must choose between two alternatives: 
**to be happy and contented without war, and without inter- 
nal taxes; or to be warlike and glorious, abounding in what 
is called honor and dignity, or in other words, in taxes and 

The dispute with Great Britain was in regard to the carry- 
ing trade. In his opinion it was not nearly so important as 
the coasting and direct trade, for this affected the agricultural 
communities of the nation. Hence it would be very disastrous 
to enact measures which must affect that trade. He also 
thought we should act cautiously- We had avoided war with 
France by using pacific measures, and why should we not at- 
tempt the same thing in the present case. He considered fal- 
lacious the argument that by prohibiting the importation of 
English goods a very important class in England — the mer- 
chants — would be brought to our help, in order that their trade 
might not be affected. He thought that the proposed action 
would not be favorable to all sections of the country alike, 
even if it benefited some. The South sent out two-thirds of 
the export products of the Union, and the people of that sec- 
tion would lose all this if trade with England should be cut 


oflf. The Northern States would doubtless be benefited by 
the home manufactures that would spring up if this trade 
were cut oflf, but the South would suffer far more. He de- 
plored the impressment of American seamen, but thought 
that the proposed measures suggested no remedy. The reso- 
lutions were passed, however, and a bill was introduced and 
passed pursuant to them. Again Mr. Macon's judgment was 
proved to be correct. The act failed of its purpose and was 
suspended after it had been in operation six weeks. 

In December, 1807, it was learned that the king had auth- 
thorized English naval officers to exercise their assumed 
right of impressment. The Senate replied to the message of 
the President, recommending an embargo, by passing a bill 
to that effect in a single day. It was at once sent to the 
House, but as the discussion of the measure was conducted 
with closed doors, we know nothing definite of Mr. Macon's 
attitude in regard to it. From his speech delivered some 
time after, on the bill repealing the embargo, and from the 
votes of his colleagues at the time, it is altogether probable 
that he favored the embargo. The measure proved entirely 
abortive. It would perhaps have proved effective but for its 
evasion by the New England seamen. The people of that 
section were not in sympathy with the administration, and 
evad.ed the embargo in every possible Vay. So disastrous was 
it to home interests, and such little effect did it produce upon 
England and France, and so great was the dissatisfaction with 
it over the entire Union, that it became necessary to repeal 
the measure and adopt other legislation. 

In April, 1808, a bill was introduced into the House, and \ 
passed, authorizing the President, in the event of certain con- 
tingencies arising during the recess of Congress, to suspend 
the embargo. Mr. Macon unsuccessfully opposed this measure. 
With the assembling of Congress the following November a 
great number of resolutions were introduced into the House 
asking, some for a total and some for a partial repeal. Mr. Ma- 
con was surprised. He thought the stand taken by Congress 
the session before entirely proper. The spirit of liberty seemed 


^ superseded by a desire for gain. He was called an enemy of 
the country because he favored a continuance of the embargo. 
In order to show what he thought ought to be done he intro- 
duced into the House three resolutions relating to it. The 
first was that the committee appointed on that part of the 
President's message relating to foreign affairs be instructed 
to inquire into the expediency of excluding by law from the 
ports of the United States all armed ships belonging to pow- 
ers disposed to prey upon our commerce. The second was that 
the same committee inquire as to the expediency of prohibit- 
ing the entrance of vessels coming from any place in the pos- 
session of the above mentioned powers to our ports, or the im- 
portation of the merchandise of those powers. The third was 
to inquire into the expediency of continuing the embargo. Mr. 
Macon was opposed to any repeal measures at that time. He 
argued that there were three alternatives left us, submission 
to the edicts of France and England, war with those nations 
or a continuance of the embargo. The idea of submission 
was out of the question; he would not submit and the people 
would not. War should only be declared as a last resort; and 
it was clear that the embargo should be continued awhile 
longer at least. He thought that the embargo, aided by a 
non-intercourse act, would produce the desired effect upon 
France and England; blit his effort to secure the continuance 
of the first named measure was futile; the embargo was re- 
pealed, and as a substitute, the non-intercourse act was passed, 
much to his displeasure, forbidding English and French ships 
from entering American ports. 

As the non-intercourse act was to expire by limitation at the 
close of the next session, when Congress met in 1809 it was 
necessary to adopt new legislation. In his report Gallatiu ad- 
vised that either the system of restriction should be rigidly 
carried out or entirely removed. So far it had failed to accom- 
plish any good results. Accordingly, Mr. Macon, as Chair- 
man of the Committee on Foreigpti Relations, reported a bill 
which was understood to have the approval of Gallatin and 
the President. This bill, known as the *'Macon Bill, No, 1," 


contained twelve sections. The first and second excluded 
French and English warships from our ports; the third ex- 
cluded French and English merchant vessels; the fourth re- 
stricted all importations of English and FVench goods to ves- 
sels owned wholly by American citizens; the fifth, sixth, sev- 
enth and eighth restricted these importations to such as came 
directly from England and France; the ninth authorized the 
President to remove the restrictions whenever either of the 
other countries removed theirs; the eleventh repealed the old 
non-intercourse act; and the twelfth limited the duration of 
the act to March 4th, 1810. The bill as drawn was the only 
measure short of war which met the requirements of the case. 
Nevertheless, it was condemned by the opposition as both too 
strong and too weak a measure. Macon supported the bill be- 
cause **it places restriction on those who restrict us, and not, 
as at present, on ourselves." He denied the accusation that 
the Administration and the Southern States desired war. 
They wanted peace if it could be honorably maintained. Af- 
ter a month's exciting debate the bill was passed; but the 
Federalists in the Senate eflFected a coalition with the personal 
enemies of Gallatin, and struck out all the sections of the bill 
except the first, second, and twelfth, practically defeating it. 
WhSi the bill came back to the House Macon denounced it 
vehemently *'as a total dereliction of national honor, a base 
submission to the aggressions of belligerents, a disgraceful 
abandonment of our policy of resistance." The House would 
not agree with the amendments of the Senate, and the bill 
was lost. Something must be done, however, and the ''Ma- 
con Bill, No. 2," was introduced and passed. It was an abso- 
lute surrender of everything at stake. Even the non-inter- 
course act was repealed by it. It conferred upon the Presi- 
ident the power, •'in case either of the aggressing nations 
should withdraw their edicts, to prohibit American trade 
with the other." This delegation of power was totally un- 
constitutional, and the whole bill a mere makeshift. The 
charge of inconsistency hardly holds here, however, for al- 
though Macon reported the bill as chairman of the commit- 


tee, he openly avowed that the bill was *Taylor's, and not 
his own, and when put upon its final passage he voted against 

When Congress met in 1811 it was evident that a war with 
England was imminent. No satisfactory agreement had been 
reached with the foreign belligerents, and the war party was 
rapidly growing in the United States. The first act of. the 
House was to elect Henry Clay, of Kentucky, Speaker. Clay 
was a joung man of recognized force and was known to favor 
war. Thus Congress committed itself to that policy which 
was consummated in June of the following year by a declara- 
'tion of war with England. On December 6th, 1811, six reso- 
lutions were introduced into the House, authorizing defensive 
measures in case of war. The first of these resolutions was 
for the completion of the military establishment by filling up 
the ranks and prolonging the enlistment of troops, and for giv- 
ing bounty lands, in addition to the bounty and pay allowed by 
law, in order to encourage enlistments of troops. The second 
was for raising an additional force of troops for three years' 
service; the third was to authorize the President to accept the 
services of as many as fifty thousand volunteers; the fourth 
that the President be allowed to order out the militia from 
time to time, as necessity might require; the fifth was that all 
vessels, not in service, belonging to the navy, and worthy of 
repair, be immediately fitted up and put in commission; and 
the sixth was to allow merchant vessels to arm and protect 
themselves. Mr. Macon voted for the first four of these reso- 
lutions; but opposed the fifth and sixth. His idea was that 
there were vessels enough in the navy to protect the coast in 
defensive warfare, and he thought warships of very little val- 
ue for other purposes. Here he made an egregious blunder, 
as was evidenced by the valuable aid given the American 
cause by squadrons under Hull, Perry, and others. No other 
victories of the war did more to revive the drooping national 
spirit, and at the same time to convince England of the re- 
sources of the Americans, than those won on the high seas. 

*John Taylor, of South Carolina, Representative 1807-'10, Senator 
1810-'16, Representatire again 1816-'17, Governor 182^'28. 


On January 6th, 1812, a bill for raising twenty-five thousand 
troops passed, and fifty thousand volunteers were authorized. 
Mr. Macon worked strenuously ag-ainst this bill. Again on 
the 29th of January, he voted against the naval establish- 
ment. Matters constantly grew worse, and on April 1st the 
President recommended that Congress lay an embargo which 
should be considered preliminary to war with England. Mr. 
Macon voted for the embargo, and a month later for the 
House resolution that war be declared against England. This 
resolution was passed in the Senate on June 18th, and the war 
had come, Mr. Macon at once wrote to each postmaster in 
his district the laconic note: 

Dear Sir:— -War was declared with Great Britain yesterday. 

Yours, Ac, 
N. Macon. 

The point of inconsistency urged against Mr. Macon was^ 
this. He voted for the first and second embargo, and he was ' / 
an ardent supporter of the bill declaring war against Great / 
Britain, yet voted against bills providing for troops, ships, 
fortifications, and other necessities of war, and must have 
known at the time that the example of a man so prominent as 
himself must have great effect in discouraging the war. In 
1809, when there was great prospect of trouble with England, 
he used these words: **You must get clear of the navy yards; 
if you do not put them down, unquestionably they will put 
you down. How is it with the navy? Has it been employed / 
to more advantage? ♦ * ♦ I will not raise a cent to sup- ' 
port the present plan. I have no hesitation in saying that If 
shall feel bound to vote down the additional force of sixj 
thousand men whenevet the subject shall come before us. - 
I voted for it; but found then, as now, we talk a great deal ^ 
about war and do nothing." This was but a following out 
in the hour of his country's peril, of JeflFerson's retrenchment 
policy of other days. Macon persistently clung to the idea \ 
that the maintenance of a navy was an useless expense to the ' 
government. Although in his speech on the Loan Bill in 1814/ 
he professed hearty sympathy with the war, his entire record 


shows that he was by no means an ardent supporter, and the 
weak and desultory manner in which the war was con- 
ducted, and the great inactivity of the administration party 
in Congress, is to be ascribed, in large measure, to the hesita- 
tion and lack of vigor and energy of Macon and the other 
party leaders. A little investigation gives a perfectly clear 
explanation of his conduct, however. His action, or rather, 
inaction, was due to his peculiar theory of defensive war, and 
to his construction of the constitution. He voted against 
measures appropriating money for fortifications, considering 
them a *'very equivocal species of protection, and will oftener 
be of advantage to the enemy by first being taken and con- 
verted into a magazine for his armies." He perhaps became 
aware of the importance of fortifications when the British cap- 
tured and pillaged Washington City in 1814. It will be re- 
membered that New England took no active part in the war. 
When Massachusetts was called on to furnish her militia to 
recruit the American army, the Governor of the State in- 
formed the President that '*since there was no invasion, there 
was no constitutional reason for sending the militia." The 
Governor of Vermont replied to a similar requisition by say- 
ing, that "the military strength and resources of a State must 
be reserved for its own defense and protection exclusively." 

/Mr. Macon held substantially the same ideas. He contended 
that in the time of war the different States might raise forces 
and consolidate them for the common defense if they chose; 
but he denied the power of the general government to demand 
that a State should contribute her quota of troops for national 
defense if she did not wish. He at one time went so far as to 
say that the Federal government had no right to quarter 

I troops in North Carolina, if she were unfavorable to war. 
We confess that Mr. Macon's conduct with respect to the war 
of 1812 appears to us very unstatesmanlike, even if he be not 

^, amenable to the charge of gross inconsistency. 

In December, 1815, Francis Locke, Senator from North 
Carolina, resigned his seat in the Senate, and the General 
Assembly, without solicitation on his part, elected Macon to 


fill the vacancy. He at once resigned his office as a member 
of the House, and assumed his new duties as Senator. 

He had served in the Senate only a few months, when the 
question of re-establishing- the United States Bank came up. 
Mr. Macon seems not to have had very comprehensive ideas 
on questions of national finance. TJie determination of such 
issues involved questions of expediency and judgment; and his 
judgment was not always trustworthy save in matters of ab- 
solute right or wrong. A proof of this is in his attitude toward 
the Bank of the United States. Hamilton's bank, established 
in 1790, had done much to establish and maintain the credit 
of the government during its infancy. In 1811 its charter ex- 
pired, and in spite of the unsettled conditions of finance and 
commercial policy, the republican distrust of Federalist insti- 
tutions, together with the spite of Gallatin's personal enemies, 
was sufficient to defeat the proposition to recharter the bank. 
The debate was warm and the vote close — 65 to 64. Macon 
opposed the measure, thus committing himself to the niggard- 
ly policy that was pursued throughout the war of 1812. The 
attempt to re-establish the bank in 1814 he also opposed. His 
only objection was that Congpress had no constitutional power 
to establish such an institution. This opinion may at this 
day appear ridiculous in the light of the reasoning of Hamil- 
ton and Marshall on the same question. Macon admitted that 
gfreat advantages would be secured from the establishment of 
the bank, but was fearful of any assumption of undelegated 
power. His attitude toward the question was practically un- 
changed when the bank was re-established in 1816. 

Mr. Macon always opposed the principle of giving public 
aid to private enterprises or private needs. He likewise op- 
posed expenditures of money for internal improvements. It is 
only necessary to turn to his speech on the bill granting to 
Lafayette the then princely pension which he received while 
on his second visit to America, to ascertain how Macon regard- 
ed such measures. The wisdom of his position is evident. 
The same thing can be said with regard to his internal im- 
provement policy. The government first committed itself to 


that policy in 1806 by appropriating a sum of money for lay- 
ing off and beginning the construction of a public road from 
Maryland to Ohio, commonly known as the * 'Cumberland 
Road." At different times during the following six years ap- 
propriations were made for prosecuting the work, '*so that by 
1812 more than $200,000 had been expended upon it." Its con- 
struction was not prosecuted during the war of 1812, but im- 
mediately afterward it was again carried forward. Macon's 
views in regard to the construction of this road, as well as up- 
on the general scheme of internal improvements prepared by 
Calhoun in 1816, are set forth in a speech which he delivered 
in the Senate in 1817. He opposed the policy for the general 
reason that the constitution warranted no such expenditures 
of public moneys. In his opinion all the moneys which the 
government could command should be used in paying off the 
national debt. He opposed the scheme also on the g^round 
that the bill was imperfectly drawn. If the money must be 
voted, it ought to be appropriated for special objects and not 
for a general, undefined scheme of improvement. He further 
defined his position on this point in a speech made on the sub- 
ject of the Florida canal in 1826. He did not like for the gov- 
ernment to go on picking up bits of power here and there. To 
/illustrate: "A wagon road (Cumberland Road) was made un- 
( der a treaty with an Indian tribe twenty odd years ago; and 
1 now it becomes a great national object, to be kept up by large 
I appropriations. We thus go on, step by step, until we get al- 
\ most unlimited power." In closing his speech he made the 
'. suggestive remark that he believed that these schemes would 
/ be carried on by private enterprise if it could be done profita- 
i bly; and that Congres^3 was only appealed to when such was 
\ not the case. 

^ The question of slavery arose with the organization of the 
Federal Government. In the second session of the first Con- 
gress memorials were introduced asking for the abolition of 
slavery, but Congress decided that it had no jurisdiction in the 
matter. In 1793 the Fugitive Slave Law was passed by Con- 
gress, providing for the return of "fugitives from justice, and 


persons escaping- from the service of their masters." The 
claimant (of the slave) was simply to satisfy any national or 
State magistrate that he was entitled to the person claimed 
in order to secure his return. This bill passed the House 
without debate, and almost without opposition, Macon voting- 
in the affirmative. In 1797 the attention of Congress was called 
to a question arising under the operation of the fugitive slave 
law. Four slaves, claiming to have been liberated by their 
masters in North Carolina, had ag-ain been sold into slavery. 
They escaped to Philadelphia, and were there seized under 
the fugitive slave act. They petitioned Congress for relief. 
Mr. Macon spoke on the petition, saying that no man wished 
to encourage petitions more than himself, and no man had 
thought over the subject more than he. However, he believ- 
ed that the general government could do nothing- for these 
men; but by application to the State courts justice would be 
done them. He must vote in the negative on the question of 
receiving the petition. 

The opponents of slavery were not silenced, however. In 
the following November there was presented to Congress a 
memorial, prepared by the Quakers of Philadelphia, one sec- 
tion of which prayed that Congress discountenance the evils 
wroug-ht by the slave trade, and use every exertion to have 
these evils redressed. The specific complaint was that onfe 
hundred and thirty-four slaves, freed by members of the So- 
ciety of Friends in North Carolina, had been reduced to slav- 
ery again under the operation of an ex post facto law. The 
consideration of the memorial was violently opposed. Mr. 
Macon said there was not a man in North Carolina who did 
not wish that there were no blacks in the country. Slavery 
was a misfortune — he considered it a curse; but there was no 
way of g-etting rid of it. He looked upon the Quakers as war 
makers rather than peace makers, as they were continually en 
deavoring to stir up insurrections among negroes in the South- 
ern States. It was wrong for these people to desire the House 
to do what it has no constitutional power to do. This was a 
matter of State policy. The whole petition was unnecessary, 


and the only object seemed to be to sow dissension. If Con- 
gress had the power to act he should be in favor of commit- 
ting- the memorial, but as no purpose could be served by so do- 
ing, it was needless to commit, Mr. Macon afterwards re- 
tracted his strictures upon the Quakers as too severe and gen- 

In May, 1800, a bill to * 'prohibit carrying" the slave trade to 
any foreign country" was passed after a long and exciting de- 
bate, Macon voting in the affirmative. In February, 1804, the 
matter came up under a new guise. A resolution was intro- 
duced into the House imposing a tax of ten dollars on every 
slave imported into any port of the United States or territor- 
ies. The immediate occasion of the resolution was the action 
of the South Carolina General Assembly in repealing the law 
of that State prohibiting the importation of neg^roes. Mr. 
Macon, (at that time Speaker), believed that the resolution was 
not founded on good policy. The avowed object of the pro- 
posed tax was to show the hostility of Congress to the princi- 
ple of importing slaves. If Congress taxed the slave trade it 
bound itself to the protection of that trade. The question was 
not whether the slave trade should be prohibited, but wheth- 
er it should be taxed. What if South Carolina had done wrong, 
as charged, in permitting the importation of slaves? Might 
not this measure be wrong also? Would it not look like an 
attempt on the part of the general government to correct a 
State for the undisputed exercise of its constitutional powers? 
It would operate as a censure upon the State, and to this he 
would never consent. There seemed to him no need of inter- 
position. No slaves had been permitted to be imported since 
the adoption of the Federal constitution, and the question now 
was simply whether, for the sake of a trifling revenue, the 
protection of the traffic should be undertaken; for the traffic 
would be legalized if taxed. He must vote against the tax be- 
cause it was an impolitic measure. The resolution was, never- 
theless, passed by a close vote, and a bill pursuant to it was 
ordered to be brought into the House. The bill would un- 
doubtedly have passed had it not been that some members 


wished to give the South Carolina General Assembly time to 
enact further legislation. Further consideration was conse- 
quently postponed for the time. In January, 1806, the resolu- 
tion was ag-ain introduced into the House. Mr. Macon reiter- 
ated the arguments he had used against it in his former 
speech. The resolution was passed this time by a large ma- 
jority, and a bill was again prepared but recommitted, and 
not put upon its final passage during that session. 

The question was one that would not down, however, and 
with the assembling of Congress in December, 1806, it came 
up more prominently than ever. In his message Jefferson 
called the attention of Congress to the fact that the time was 
approaching when that body would have constitutional war- 
rant for enacting legislation relative to the slave trade. This 
paragraph of the message was regularly referred to a com- 
mittee, with Early,* of Georgia, as chairman. On December 
15th, 1806, he reported a bill declaring the importation of ne- 
gro slaves unlawful; ''imposing a fine on the importer, with 
forfeiture of ship and cargo" to the United States, to be sold 
at auction by the government; and authorized the President to 
employ armed vessels of the United States to enforce the law. 
The anti-slavery members at once objected to this disposition 
of the forfeited slaves, and attempted to amend the bill by 
granting freedom to such slaves. Macon objected to this prop- 
osition on the ground that it would be impossible to enforce 
the law if illegally imported negroes were to become free un- 
der its provisions. The bill was recommitted, the debate "ad- 
journed, resumed, adjourned again." It seemed impossible for 
a majority to come to any definite agreement upon it. An- 
other amendment was moved, "that no person shall be sold 
as a slave by virtue of this act." The vote was 60 to 60, and 
Macon, by his casting vote, threw out the amendment. In a 
brief speech he strongly urged the passage of the bill as it 
stood. * He considered it simply a commercial question, and 
beyond that Congress had absolutely no authority in the mat- 
ter. The-law of nations had nothing to do with it. Our pow- 

♦Peter Early. He was at one time Governor of Greorgia. 


ers of leg-islation were delegated by the constitution, and he 
would be glad for any one to point out what part of the con- 
stitution gave authority to legislate on the subject in hand* 
He believed that forfeiture was the only effectual mode of pro- 
hibition. The Senate bill was finally accepted as a substi- 
tute, and, as passed, was very different from the one first in- 
troduced into the House; and was not a very stringent prohib- 
itory law. It was passed by a practically unanimous vote, 
only five nays being recorded against it. 

During the next eight years the country was so entirely oc- 
cupied with the troubles with France and England, and with 
the establishment of commercial and political lines of policy 
after the war, that no particular attention was given to the 
subject of slavery by Congress. The anti-slavery movement 
was not dead,. however, and once the pressure of other affairs 
was removed, it again came before the country in that ever 
memorable contest which ended for the time in the Missouri 
Compromise; the first real struggle between the free and slave- 
holding States. Early in the session of 1817-18 legislation 
was enacted for a more strict prohibition of the slave trade, 
but unfortunately we have no record of the debates, the pro- 
ceedings having been carried on in secret session. In 1819 a 
bill was introduced into the House admitting the Territory of 
Missouri to the Union without any restrictions as to slavery. 
The bill was amended by a clause prohibiting a further intro- 
duction of slaves, and granting freedom to the children of 
those already in the territory upon attaining the age of twen- 
ty-five years. When the bill came to the Senate it precipita- 
ted a long and animated discussion, Mr. Macon opposing ve- 
hemently the prohibitory clause. The Senate struck out all 
the House amendments regarding slavery, Mr. Macon voting 
with the majority. Three days later, the House having re- 
fused to change its bill, the Senate voted to adhere to its 
amendments, and the matter was dropped for that session. 

Slavery was the uppermost question throughout the next 
Congress. The House again passed the bill admitting Mis- 
souri, with the prohibitory clause inserted. A month before 
it had passed a bill admitting Maine as a State. The Senate 


judiciary committee framed an amendment uniting the bills 
for the admission of these two States, and without any pro- 
hibition as to Missouri. Mr. Macon voted for and vigorously 
defended in a speech this move of the Southern Senators. 
When the question of the passage of the bill as reported came 
up Macon supported it in a long and forcible speech. He be- 
gan by declaring that this was the greatest question that had 
ever engaged the attention of the Senate, and hoped that he 
should be able to discuss it in a calm and discreet manner. 
He was surprised at the patriotism of the gentleman* who had 
declared that he preferred disunion rather than that slaves 
should be carried west of the Mississippi. Age might have 
rendered him timid, or education might have prevailed on him 
to attach undue blessings to the constitution and Union, but 
if so, he had no desire to be free from his error. If the Union 
were dissolved it would be impossible to form another; all good 
men should seek to preserve it as it was. He then deprecated 
the formation of geographical parties, arraying section 
against section, and disturbing the public mind by inflamma- 
tory speeches and meetings. The government was already 
sufficiently troubled with perplexing questions. lie then took \ 
up the question of the rights of the States. All the States hav- / 
ing equal rights, all are content. All the new States have/ 
the same rights that the old have, and why make Missouri an 
exception? The terms of her admission ought not to be dif-l 
ferent from those of Louisiana, her sister State, or any other( 
State of the Union. Why depart in her case from the great \ 
American principle that the people can govern themselves? j 
All the territory west of the Mississippi was acquired by the I 
same treaty and upon the same terms, and it should all have , 
the same rights. Besides this, the proposed prohibition I 
would work gross injustice upon the present inhabitants of the \ 
territory. They had previously bought lands and settled there - 
with their slaves, and the government had made no objec- / 
tion: in fact, laws had been made guaranteeing that it would ; 
defend such property. Could the government now violate 

♦Walter Lowrie, of Pennsylvania 


this solemn agreement? We must consider the condition and 
feelings of those for whom we legislate, and not without the 
greatest caution must we ^violate the wish of the people be- 
cause that people is weak. He then rehearsed his pet theory 
that the people, as a rule, are governed too much; and that 
the free American spirit is pau-ticularly intolerant of gall- 
ing restraint. He closed his speech with remarks concerning 
the relations that really existed between slaves and their own- 
ers, and the attachment of the people to the principle of State 
government with as little Federal interference as possible. 
On February 16th the bill passed the Senate. Thomas,* of 
Illinois, at once offered an amendment, which was in sub- 
stance the famous compromise afterwards adopted. Mr. Ma- 
con opposed the amendment, urging that Congress had no au- 
thority to deal with the matter. The amendment passed, 34 
— 10. The house refused its agreement with the bill as sent 
down from the Senate, and returned it. The Senate refused 
to recede from its position, the House insisted, and a resolu- 
tion was offered in the Senate to appoint a committee to con- 
fer with the House. This motion precipitated a spirited de- 
bate. Macon spoke in favor of the conference; and the mat- 
ter was finally so decided. The conference committee recom- 
mended that the Senate recede from its amendments, and that 
both Houses adopt the compromise recommended. This was 
done and the question was thought to be settled. 

The next year the question came before Congress for the 
last time during Macon's public life. The people of Missouri 
had submitted a constitution to Congress, one clause of which 
provided that free colored men should not enter the State 
under any pretext. The Senate passed the bill admitting the 
State, but the House refused to do so until the clause of the 
constitution referring- to the free blacks should be removed. 
Again conference committees were appointed, and a compro- 
mise was agreed upon. It is not necessary to go into details 

♦Jesse B. Thomas, Senator 1818-'19. Had been United States district 
judge. Was delegate from Indiana Territdry to Congress 1808-'09. Re- 
moved to Ohio— committed suicide in a fit of insanity, 1850. 


of the question further, however Mr. Macon's attitude to- 
ward it '^^as substantially the same as toward other slavery 
legislation. He was opposed to the conditional admission 
granted Missouri by the last compromise, and with Smith* 
alone of all the Southern Senators, insisted upon absolute ad- 
mission or nothing. ^^ ' ^ ^ 

The question of tariflF seems to have been a prominent one 
in our government ever since the formation of the Union. In 
1789 duties were laid on imports for the purpose of raising 
revenue, and were thenceforth increased from time to time as 
the needs of the Treasury demanded, up to the year 1816. 
Thus far the tariflF had been imposed for revenue only, but, in 
his report to Congpress in 1816, Dallas! recommended a distinct- 
ively protective system, and introduced into American politics 
a question which is today a great national issue. The man- 
ufacturing industries had been built up by the increased dut- 
ies and restricted commerce occasioned by the war, and they 
were now clamoring for protection. The proposed bill was 
passed, not without much opposition from the South and agri- 
cultural communities generally. It failed to accomplish all 
that was hoped for it by its supporters, and in 1824 a new bill 
was passed increasing duties on certain metals and on agricul- 
tural products but giving little additional protection to cotton 
and woolen manufactures. For example, the duty on hemp 
was made $60 a ton. One of the chief objects of the prepara- 
tion of such a bill was to entangle the administration in polit- 
ical difficulties, and it accomplished its purpose. As the ques- 
tion of protection is practically always the same it is not nec- 
essary to go into a detailed account of Mr. Macon's attitude 
in regard to it. A statement of his opinions as expressed in 
one or two of his speeches is quite sufficient. In a speech de- 
livered before the Senate in May, 1824, he declared himself to 
be a patron of American industry, but not at the expense of 
agriculture. It was utterly unconstitutional, in his opinion, 
to protect one set of industries in one part of the country, and 

♦William Smith, of South Carolina, 
f Alexander J. Dallas, of Pennsylvania. 


I neglect the interests of the people in another part, and utter- 
ly unjust as well. He went on to speak of the advantages of 
agriculture as compared with other industries. He concluded 
his speech by declaring that he believed the measure not for 
the good of the nation; gentlemen had insisted that the meas- 
ure would prove to be for the good of the nation, but people 
I nowadays generally meant themselves when they said nation. 
When the question came up again in 1828 Macon, although an 
old man of seventy years, delivered a speech two hours in 
length against the measure, reiterating the sentiments he had 
before uttered. 

The administration policy of sending ministers to the pro- 
posed Panama Congress of American Republics was one which 
Macon regarded with apprehension and disfavor. The meas- 
ure received ready support in the House, but encountered 
strenuous opposition in the Senate. Macon, the chairman of the 
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, * 'reported adversely 
upon the nomination of ministers." The report, a most able 
State paper, was drawn by Tazewell*, of Virginia. Its objec- 
tions were all well taken. The chief one was that we ought 
not to depart from the American policy of refraining from all 
entangling alliances. Nevertheless, the pressure of public 
opinion was great, and Macon's report was voted down. The 
whole scheme fell through with the early adjournment of the 
first session of this very unsatisfactory Congress. 

During the last years of Mr. Macon's career in the Senate 
the question of the abolition of imprisonment for debt came 
up a number of times. Macon's position with regard to it is 
clearly set forth in one of his speeches. He said that he be- 
lieved that when a man had given up all his property he 
should be released, and not put in jail where he could not 
work, or do anything for his own relief unless he happened to 
be a shoemaker or tailor. He believed that a majority of 
debtors were honest men; and that there were as many or more 
dishonest creditors than there were dishonest debtors. 

The veneration .and 'respect with which Mr. Macon was re- 
garded during the last vears of his public lite are shown by 

♦Littleton Waller Tazewell. 


the vote of Virginia for Vice-President in 1825. The election 
of President and Vice-President had devolved upon the 
House, and Virgfinia cast her 24 votes for Macon for the last 
named ofiSce. In January, 1827, the Vice-President being ab- 
sent, Mr. Macon was elected President ^^ tern, of the Senate. 
So acceptable were his services to that body that again, in 
1828, in the absence of the Vice-President, he was elected 
to the same ofiSce, but this time declined the honor. Later in 
the same year, still active and vigorous in mind in spite of his 
burden of three score and ten years, he resigned his office as 
Senator from North Carolina, and retired to the quiet of pri- 
vate life. At the same time he resigned as a trustee of the 
University of North Carolina, and laid aside all other official 

It would be interesting to give more in detail the Congress- 
ional career of this worthy man, but enough has already been 
said to indicate his official conduct in regard to all the really 
important national questions which he was called on to help 
decide while in Congress. A further examination of his career, 
of his position with regard to private appropriation bills. 
State claims, etc., would only emphasize ideas which have al- 
ready been set forth, and would be comparatively profitless. 

While in no way connected with Mr. Macon's Congpressional 
career, it may perhaps be fitting to make a brief mention of 
his connection with the North CarolinaConstitutional Conven- 
tion of 1835. There were a number of objections to the con- 
stitution then in force: it contained no provision for its own 
amendment, the method prescribed for the election of 
Governor had grown unpopular, etc. The convention assem- 
bled in Raleigh, and desiring the aid of Mr. Macon's experi- 
ence, wisdom and judgment, at once elected him President, 
although he was at that time an old man of 78 years. He 
was able nevertheless, in that position to render his State val- 
uable service; and the eagerness with which that service was 
sought is evidence of the unquestioned confidence and affec- 
tion of his people for him. 

Such was the public career of Nathaniel Macon. In his 
life we have the example of a man of mediocre abilities and 


meagre education rising to occupy the highest position of 
trust and honor that the people of his State could bestow. 
Judg-ed by a standard of tireless endeavor and unswerving 
conceptions of duty, his was a career successful in the high- 
est deg-ree. Judged by a standard of great personal achieve- 
ment, it was a success neither brilliant nor remarkable. Mr. 
Macon can never be called a great man in the highest sense of 
the term. He was not a leader, he was not a statesman in all 
respects; but he was an ideal representative. Lacking the 
personal influence, the subtle and almost indefinable charm of 
manner, the vague but real something which makes a man by 
nature a leader among his fellows, he could not draw men af- 
ter him except by his calm and thoug'htf ul conservatism, and 
by that unswerving- devotion to duty in which all who knew 
him placed the most implicit confidence. He was not a great 
statesman, either in the originality of his views of politics or 
in the practicability of his theories of government. But we 
repeat, he was the ideal representative. When his constitu- 
ents sent him to Congress they knew that his action there 
would be an expression of their wishes in regard to public 
matters, yet tempered always by the calm and thoughtful 
judgment of the man himself. It was to this fact, as well as 
to the fact that he always voted against appropriations, not 
absolutely required by some pressing public necessity, that he 
was such a favorite with his people. There is nothing in the 
popular estimation which covers so '*great a multitude of 
sins" as opposition to all appropriations of public moneys for 
purposes which are not absolute necessities. 

Mr. Henry Adams, in his History of the United States 
(1801-'17) gives a most admirable portrait of Macon: *'The 
best qualities of the State (North Carolina) were typified in 
its favorite representive, Nathaniel Macon, a homespun 
planter, honest and simple, erring more often in his gram- 
mar than in his moral principles, but knowing little of the 
world beyond the borders of North Carolina. No man in 
American history left a better name than Macon, but the 
name was all he left. An ideal Southern Republican, inde- 


pendent, unambitious, free from intrigue, true to his con- 
victions, a kindly and honorable man, his influence * * * 
was not SO great as that of some less respectable and more 
busy politicians." The estimate does not agree with Ran- 
dolph's assertion that he was the *'best, purest, and wisest 
man" he ever saw, but it is probably nearer the truth. 

In the preparation of this paper reference has been made to the fol-. 
lowing sources: 
^AcUims-Uisiory of the United States (1891-1817.) 
"^AfUimH—LiUe of Albert Gallatin. 
American State Papers. 

Jieivton— Thirty Years* View. 

i^nion— Abridgment of Debates of Congress. 

CoiUm—Ltite of Nathaniel Macon. 

Gales^ and Seaton^s Annals of Congress. 

Gales' and Seaton^s Register of Congressional Debates. 

Hildreth—m9tory of the United States (1787-1820.) 

Hart — Formation of the Union. 
^ Schauler—B isiory of the United States, Vol. III. 

The National Intelligencer. 
* W7iee/er— History of North Carolina. 





Letter from Nathaniel Maconil) to Mr. John R. Ea- 
ton(2)y If ah' fax, North Carolina: 

Philadelphia April ISth— 96. 


For two days past the House Representatives 
have been in a Committee of the Whole House on the 
State of union for the express purpose of considering' 
such parts of the treaties lately negotiated as may 
require legislative aid. the Committee have reported 
three resolutions, one to carry the Spanish treaty(3j 
into effect another the Al^erine(4) and the third the 
Indian(S). the British(6) is to be acted on to-day, and 
will I suppose produce some debating:, it is verj doubt- 
ful what the* vote of the House will be on it. My 
opinion is that no vote in favor of it can be obtained. 
I have enclosed Col. Ashe(7) the debates on Mr. Liv- 
ingston's(8) motion to request certain papers from the 
President. I mention this to you because I am sure 
by applying you can have the reading of them. 

With sentiments of esteem and respect I am Sir 

Yr. most obt. Svt., 
Nathl. Macon. 


(l)Some particulars of the family history of Nathaniel 
Macon, in addition to those given by Mr. Wilson, may be 
interesting. For them I am indebted to Hon. Charles A. 
Cooke, a descendant of two sisters of Mr. Macon, and Mrs 
Seigniora Crenshaw, his grand-daughter. 

A Washing-ton correspondent of the Washington (N. C.) 
Gazette, states that he ascertained from some records in the 


Library of Congress that Macon was descended from a noble 
French family, one of his ancestors being* Gabriel de Macon, 
the father of whom, Louis de Macon, received the title for 
military service. The family fled from France soon after the 
revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Bishop Meade in 
his **01d Churches and Families of Virginia," mentions Gid- 
eon Macon, father of Nathaniel, as a Vestryman in Virginia. 

M^con is the most important town on the Soane — has a pop- 
ulation of about 20,000. 

The correspondent above mentioned, states that the shield 
of the family was a^ure, bordered with gold, bearing three 
golden stars. 

Mr. Macon pronounced his name, Meekins. I can conjec- 
ture no reason for this other than his opinion that it sounded 
more democratic and American. 

There was in the last century a large emigration from Vir- 
ginia to Bute (now Warren and Franklin) of well-to-do people 
in search of lands, both cheap and healthy. Among these was 
Gideon Macon, a citizen of New Kent county, Virginia. He 
married Priscilla, a daughter of Edward Jones and Abigail 
(Sugan) Jones, the latter being the first white woman who 
crossed Shocco creek in Bute. 

Gideon and Priscilla Macon lived on his plantation seven 
miles southeast of Warrenton. He was moderately wealthy, 
having 2,000 acres of land and nearly forty slaves, as appears 
by his will recorded in Warren county. His widow married, 
after his death in 1763, James Ransom, likewise of Virginia 
family, and one of their children, Seymore, was grand-father 
of General Robert, and ex-United States Senator Matt Whita- 
ker Ransom. 

The above statement shows that Mr. Macon's parents, though 
'•respectable" were not **poor," as Mr. W. N. Edwards says in 
his memoirs of Macon. 

Gideon and Priscilla Macon had the following children: Har- 
rison, John, Nathaniel, Gideon, Annie, Sally, Martha, and 
Mary. Of these John Macon was ten times State Senator and 
four times a Commoner from Warren county — a wise and use- 
ful legislator; Annie Hunt married John Alston, of Halifax, 


and was mother of Willis Alston, member of Congress; Sally 
married John Hawkins and was the mother of a Congressman, 
MicajahT. Hawkins, and grand-mother of GeneralJeflf. Green, 
of Texas war fame; Martha married Joseph Seawell, father of 
Judge Henry Seawell, and Mary married a Johnston. 

Nathaniel Macon married Hannah Plummer, sister of the 
prominent lawyer and State Senator, Kemp Plummer, whose 
daughter was wife of the late Judge Wm. H. Battle, Their 
only children were two girls, Betsy Kemp Macon, who mar- 
ried a planter of means in Granville county, William John Mar- 
tin; and Seigniora, who married a wealthy planter of Warren, 
on the Roanoke, Wm. Eaton. The daughter of his landlady in 
Washington was named Seigniora, and he took a fancy to it, 

Wm. and Betsy Martin had many children, some of whose 
descendants live in Richmond and Petersburg, the males usual- 
ly being merchants. Others are planters in this State and 
Louisiana, one of whom, Chas. H.Martin, was a member of the 
SSth Congress. There are two grandchildren of Mr. Macon of 
this stock still living — Mr. Robert A. Martin, of Petersburg, 
Va., and Mrs. Seigniora Crenshaw, widow of General Daniel 
S. Crenshaw. 

William Eaton and Seigniora, his wife, had thirteen chil- 
dren, the most prominent of whom was the late Wm. Eaton, 
of Warrenton, Attorney General of North Carolina and author 
of a valuable law book, Eaton's Forms. 

There is no authentic portrait of Mr. Macon, that purport- 
ing to be his, being drawn from the description of men, who 
remembered his personahappearance. 

For further facts concerning him the reader is referred to 
Mr. Wilson's paper. 

Mr. Macon's letters are printed as he wrote them. 

(2) John R. Eaton was a citizen of Halifax, prominent in pri- 
vate life. As the "oldest inhabitant" does not remember him, 
I think it altogether probable that he was the father of John 
H. Eaton, Secretary of War, of Tennessee, who was born in 
Halifax. If so hie made that State his home. 

(3)By this treaty the boundary between Florida, then Span- 
ish territory, and the United States, was settled; the free nav-. 


igation of the Mississippi river was opened to citizens of both 
countries; New Orleans was allowed to be a place of deposit 
for American g-oods for three years, subject to renewal for that 
or other convenient place; and the Indians within the limits of 
each country were to be restrained from hostilities. There were 
other articles of a liberal nature concerning commercial rela- 
tions, and Spain was to pay for illegal captures. There was 
little objection to its ratification. 

(4)By the Algerine treaty, which was ratified, the Americans, 
who were held in prison by the Dey, were released on pay- 
ment of $763,000 cash, and military stores worth $24,000 to be 
delivered each year. As the payment of the tribute was de- 
Jayed, the American consul propitiated him by the gift of a 
frigate costing $100,000. After the United States became 
stronger, a fleet under Commodore Decatur in 1815 humbled Al- 
giers, Tunis and Tripoli, and ended the tribute, which was 
virtually blackmail. A favorable treaty was extorted from 
Tripoli in 1805 after a short war. 

(S)This treaty was made with a number of tribes of Indians 
of the North West by which 25,000 square miles of land was 
ceded to the United States, on payment of $9,500. The Indian 
military power had been crushed by an army under General 
Anthony Wayne, at the battle of Fallen Timbers, or the Mia- 
mi (orMaumee) of the Lakes, two years previously. In May, 
1706, an act was passed regulating intercourse with the Indians, 
confirming them in the possession of the territory west of a 
.ine from Lake Erie to St. Mary's River in Georgia. 

(6)The celebrated Jay's Treaty, the discussion of which con- 
vulsed the nation, the Federalists strongly supporting it and 
the Republicans, as a rule, more violently opposing it. Its 
friends claimed that it settled the disputes between Great 
Britian and the United States, which without it would have 
ended in War, 

It was concluded in 1794 between Chief Justice Jay and Lord 
Grenville. The British forts were to be evacuated. There 
was to be freer commercial intercourse and trading with In- 
dians in America. The navigation of the Mississippi was 


made free. Indemnitj to be paid by England for recent un- 
lawful captures and by the United States for captures by French 
cruisers fitted in our ports. A limited trade was allowed with 
the British West Indies. 

The first question arose whether the House was bound to 
carry into effect a treaty legally made, requiring legislative 
action. The House voted in the negative. The motion to 
carry the treaty into operation prevailed in the committee of 
the whole by the casting vote of the chairman, and in the 
House by 51 to 48, largely by the eloquent advocacy of Fisher 
Ames, of Massachusetts. There were only four favoring votes 
from the States South of the Potomac and only four against 
it in New England, 

(7)John Baptiste Ashe, son of Judge and Governor Samuel 
Ashe; was in 1801 elected (Jovemor of North Carolina, but died 
before inauguration; Representative in Congress 1791-'93. 

(8)Edward Livingston, of New York, Representative 1795- 
1801; removed to New Orleans 1804; Representative from Louis- 
iana, 1823-29; U. S. Senator, 1829-31; Secretary of State 1831- 
'33; Minister to France, 1833-'3S. Author of Civil and Crimi- 
nal Code of Louisiana and other works on legal subjects. His 
motion, to call on the President for his instructions to Chief 
Justice Jay and other papers connected with the treaty, pass- 
ed the House but Washington declined to furnish them as in- 
compatible with the public interest. 

Letter from Nathaniel Macon to (l)Afr. Yancey: 

Washington, 8 FeVy, 1818. 


My last was concluded in a hurras I will now 
add the remarks then intended to have been made. 
The story related of (2)Gen'l Davie and the Sheriff, 
was brought to my mind by the difficulty of reading 
your letter then acknowledged; you can write an ex- 
cellent hand, why then perplex your friend by compell- 
ing him to guess at your meaning by reading a word 
in one place and then in another, and so puzzling him- 
self to decipher half formed letters between the words 
read; you need not the requisite of bad writing to be 


thought great, who have proved yourself to be really 
so, in the National Legislature; you ask if the relation 
was meant, as an apology for ray bad writing. I 
answerno; and you know that I always write as well 
as I can. 

I am well pleased that you are appointed Judge, and 
ardently hope, that you will not in that character at- 
tempt to split hairs, that criminals may escape, but . 
look plainly at the offence, and go fairly for the 
fraud; Let right and justice be your guide, and the . 
Lord will prosper your way: so that you shall be a 
blessing to the people and an ornament to the State. 
A righteous judgment exalted Daniel, and truth 
placed him next to the king, though he was of the 
conquered nation. 

Our(3) affairs with Spain remain prettjr much as 
they have done for some time past. It is however 
understood that we are not now negotiating with the 
Spanish minister here, that Gen'l Jackson is ordered 
to pursue the Indians wherever they may go; that 
Great Britain has offered to mediate between us and 
Spain and that the offer has not been accepted by the 
administration, and that Russia will make the same 
offer, and receive the same answer. It seems proba- 
ble that we may find ourselves in possession of all or 
nearly all Florida without being at war with Spain, 
or having waited on her performing the treaty stipu- 
lation concerning the Indians; I am not acquainted 
with the intention of the Executive, relative to (4) Am- 
elia Island, but neither that nor any other part of Flor- 
ida can be held under present circumstances without 
expressly contradicting the declaration of our mini- 
sters at Ghent, which on such a question the Span- 
ish government might use with great propriety, and 
which so used would surely be embarrassing not only 
to the administration but to the Government itself. 
It is believed that circumstances justified the driving 
Aurey(S) and company from Amelia, but this justifi- 
cation may be destroyed by improperly holding posses- 
sion; it may not be unnecessary to repeat, that I know 
nothing of the intention of the Executive on the sub- 

To you it will not appear very strange that Congress 
should raise their own pay, for so the $8 per day ought 
to be consided, and not raise that of the of&cers here 


who are not better paid, than Congress was at $6; yet 
I expect it will so turn out. 

Crawford (4) thinks of you, as you would wish, and 
enquires after you more often than I hear from you. 

There has been some chahge(6) in the etiquette 
among- the Ladies, which has furnished a subject for 
conversation (to- wit) Mrs.M, — returns no visits, and 
Mrs. A. — expects to be visited first by the wives of 
Congressmen, how it is settled, if settled at all I am 

Write to me often. It will make me glad, though 
you can so write as to pester me to read. Let your 
fall circuit include Warren, and take my house in 
the way from Warren ton to Halifax; it would be no 
objection to the visit, that Mrs. Yancey yrould be with 
you, but on the contrary it would make me twice hap- 
py if it be possible to be so; to whom and your ven- 
erable mother present my best wishes, and believe me 
to be 

Your friend 

Nath'l Macon. 


(l)Bartlett Yancey, one of the most influential men of his 
day in i^orth Carolina, Was born in Virginia 1785, was educated 
at the University of North Carolina, settled at Yancey ville, Cas- 
well county, as a lawyer. He was a Representative in Con- 
gress 1813-'17; was often called to the chair by the Speaker, 
Henry Clay. From 1817 to 1828 inclusive he was State Sena- 
tor, and Speaker the whole of that time, distinguished for his 
readiness, fairness and ability. He was a leader in the adop- 
tion of our present Supreme Court system, in the systema- 
tization of the Treasury department, in the inception of In- 
ternal Improvements in the State and the creation of the Pub- 
lic School Fund. He was tendered by President Adams the 
mission to Peru, but declined it. His sudden death in 1828 
prevented his being elected Senator, being by common consent 
marked out as successor to Governor John Branch, who enter- 
ed Jackson's Cabinet. The county seat of Caswell and a 
mountain county are named in his honor. 

Mr. Yancey lived in Yanceyville until a year before his 
death, when he removed to one of two farms which he owned. 


His wife, Ann, was a daughter of John Graves, a captain in 
the Revolutionary army. Of their children, Rufus Augustus 
died unmarried soon after leaving the University of N. C. ; Al- 
gernon Sidney married Miss Graves, all their children dying 
without issue; Frances married Henry McAden, M, D. Their 
children were the late Rufus Yancey McAden, once Speaker 
of the House of Representatives in N. C. and President of a 
Bank in Charlotte, and Dr. John H. McAden, a prominent 
citizen of Charlotte; Mary, still living, married Giles Mebane, 
often member of the Legislature and Speaker of the Senate, and 
has three children; Ann married Mr. Womach of Caswell, and 
left three children; Carolina married Lemuel Mebane of Cas- 
well, and Virginia married George W. Swepson, of Virginia, 
afterwards North Carolina, and survives him. Besides the 
two children above named, Mrs. Mebane and Mrs. Swepson, 
there are living grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Mr. 

(2)*'The story of Gen. Davie and the SherifiF I am not able to 
recover. I surmise that it was similar to one told on Judge 
Romulus M. Saunders, who, when his own manuscript was 
brought to him, enquired, *'What fool wrote this paper?" 

(3)The points of difference with Spain were the claim of the 
United States to West Florida, compensation for spoliations, 
for the discontinuance of the right of deposit at New Orleans, 
and the violation by Spain of the treaty of 1795 by not keep- 
ing the Seminoles from invadinij;- the United States. Spain 
complained of the violation of neutrality by the United States, 
because Gen. Andrew Jackson had marched troops into Spain's 
territory and seized the posts of St. Marks and Pensacola and 
the fortress of Barancas, for the reason that they had been 
used for inciting the Indians to hostilities. 

The disputes were settled by a treaty made February 22nd, 
1819, by which East and West Florida were ceded to the Un- 
ited States. The latter released Spain from all demands by 
her citizens and agreed to pay 35,000,000 for claims of Span- 
ish citizens. Provision was made that in case of war of eith- 
er nation with a third party neutral flags should cover 


property under them, and also for grants of lands by Spain 
prior to January 24tli, 1818. The treaty of Ghent, which 
ended the war of 1812, among other provisions bound the 
United States to end hostilities towards Indians and to gfive 
them the rights they had in 1811. 

(4) Amelia Island, on the east coast of Florida, south of St. 
Mary's river, after the abolition of the slave trade in 1808, was 
used as a place of resort by smugglers, slave traders and pi- 
rates. Louis Aury was a filibuster, who claimed to be a subject 
of Mexico. He captured Fernandina, on Amelia Island and 
claimed to hold it for Mexico. 

(S)The salaries of Congressmen have been, from 1789 to 
1815, $6 per day; 181S-'l7, $1500 per annum; 18l7-'55, $8 per 
day; 1855-'65, $3000 per year; 1865-71, $5000 per year; 1871-74, 
$7,500 per year; 1874 to the present, $5,000 per year. During 
1795 Senators received $7 per day; at all other times the same 
as Representatives. The $1500 from 1815 to 1817, and $7500 
1871-74, (Salary Grab), were very unpopular. 

(6) William Harris Crawford (1772-1834), of Georgia, Sena- 
tor of U. S. 1807-'13, being President ^r^ tern, part of the time; 
Minister to France, 1813-'! 5, Secretary of War 1815-'16: of 
the Treasury, 1816-'25; voted for as President, receiving 41 
votes in 1824, w.hen there was no election by the people and 
John Quincy Adams was chosen by the House of Representa- 
tives voting by States. 

(7)**Mrs. M." was the wife of President Monroe; **Mrs. A." 
was the wife of the Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams. 
These rules of etiquette still exist. They were freely criti- 
cised as savoring of aristocracy by the friends of Jackson and 
Crawford. Mr. Adams was attacked for claiming the first vis- 
it from members of Congress, and published a letter denying 
the charge. 

* Letter Jrom NatKl Macon to Mr. Bartlett Tancey. 

Washington 15 April 1818. 

By this mail I send answers to your four ques- 
tions, you will observe that in some« the answer refers 


by numbers to the questions; which are stated on the 
top of each side of the enclosed sheet of paper(l). 

Examine again, the constitution of the U, S. and| 
you will perceive your error. If Cong-ress can make 
(2)canals they can with more propriety emancipate. 
Be hot deceived, I speak soberly m the fear of God, 
and the love of the constitution, Let not love of im- 
provement, or a thirst for g-lory blind that sober dis- 
cretion and sound sense, with which the Lord has blest 
you. Paul was not more anxious or sincere concern- 
ing Timothy, than I am for you; your error in this, 
will injure if not destroy our beloved mother N. Car- 
olina and all the South country, add not to the con- 
stitution nor take therefrom; no incidental power can 
stand alone; whatever can stand alone is substantive, 
not incidental; Be not lead a stray by grand notions 
or magnificent opinions, remember you belong- to a 
meek State and just people who want nothing but to 
enjoy the fruits of their labor honestly and to lay out 
their profits in their own way. in all countries, those 
who have sense enough to get and keep money, may 
be safely trusted as to the manner of disbursing it. 

Written in my seat in the Senate, while business 
is going on. God preserve you many years as (3) Lew- 
is De Onis says to the Secretary of State; and written 
also from the heart, to reach heart, if so be the will 
of God; farewell in truth and Remember me in good 
will, to Mrs, Yancey and your mother 

Nathl. Macon. 


(l)This sheet cannot be found. 

(2)This fever for digging canals was intense in 1817, whe?i 
the Erie Canal in New York was begun, and continued until 
superceded by the railroad fever. There was a very able de- 
bate in the House in 1817 as to the power of Congress to aid 
in their construction. The Resolution that * 'Congress has pow- 
er to appropriate money for the construction of post-roads, 
military and other roads, and of canals, and for the improve* 
ment of water courses," passed by a vote of 90 to 75. Mr. Yan- 
cey favored North Carolina's aiding canal digging. 

(3) Don Louis de Onis, the Spanish minister, who negotiat* 
ed the treaty of the cession of Florida. 


Letter from NathL Macon to Mr, Tancey. 

Washington 8 March 1818. 


This is Sunday. I have just finished my cor- 
respondence about business, and cannot I believe do 
a better act, than to acknowledge the receipt of your 
acceptable letter of the 22nd ult. I rejoice that you 
have taken Granville in your circuit, because if noth- 
ing happen to prevent, I will endeavor to see you 
there at the fall court. 

After reading your letter I was perfectly satisfied 
with your refusing to accept the appointment of 
Judge,(l) though am still pleased that it was offered 
to you. 

I must ask you to examine the constitution of the 
U. S. — particularly the following parts, and then tell 
me if Congress can establish banks, make roads and 
canals, whether they cannot free all the Slaves in 
the U. S. 

The preamble — (2)article 1 — Section 8 — paragraph 
1 — Same article and paragraph Section 9 — article 4 all 
the Section 2 & 4; with the 9 & 10 amendments. 

Look also (3)Section 10, article 1— Section 8 of the 
same article and paragraph 5, and tell me whether 
Congress can make anything but gold & silver a 
tender in the payment in of debts. 

It takes a lon^ time to produce great events in any 
nation. The dispute which begun in Great Britain 
under the rei^n of Charles the first was not complete- 
ly settled, until William of Chrange was placed on the 
throne. The American revolution commenced with 
the Stamp act. How long the French revolution 
brewing is more uncertain, but that may be said 
to have begun when her philosophers first wrote 
freely on politics. The dispute between Caesar and 
Pompey did not begin with them, for Marius and 
Sylla were before them. We have abolition-colo- 
nizing bible and peace societies; their intentions can- 
not be known; but the character and spirit of one 
may without injustice be considered that of all it is 
a character and spirit of perseverance, bordering 
on enthusiasm; and if the j^eneral government 
shall continue to stretch their powers, these so- 


cieties will undoubtedly push them to try the ques- 
tion of emancipation. I have written very freely to 
you, and it is intended for you alone, under a fair and 
honest construction of the constitution the negro 
property is safe and secure. Beside the subjects be- 
fore mentioned, we cannot forget that the Sedition 
act was declared constitutional by the courts, and 
it is probable that the alien one was also. 

The states having no slaves may not feel as strong- 
ly, as the States having slaves about stretching the 
constitution; because no such interest is to be touch- 
ed by it. Who could have supposed when Mr. Jef- 
erson went out of office that his principles and the 
principles which brought him into it, would so soon 
have become unfashionable, and that Mr. Madison 
the champion against banks, should have signed an 
act to establish one, containing rather worse princi- 
ples, than the one he opposed as unconstitutional, 
and that Mr. Monroe should become apparently the 
favorite of the federalists, if not so in fact. 

The camp that is not always guarded may be sur- 
prised; and the people which do not always watch 
their rulers may be enslaved, too much confidence is 
the ruin of both. 

You ask me to write often. I fear that this with 
my letter about navigation, may lessen your desire 
to hear from me; they are both highly important sub- 
jects, and worthy a much more able pen, and as you 
are not now to act on them, may not incline to plague 
yourself with them, and would rather play with your 
children, when at home. 

When examining the constitution as before rer 
quested, remember that there is a time for all things; 
that there was a time, when to have vot vd for th • 
Yazoo(3) compromise would have destroyed the repu- 
tation of almost any. man in the South country. 
The hatred which attached to the Blue(4) lights, 
and the Hartford(5) convention are now done away, at 
least apparently so among Congressmen. These facts 
are not mentioned with the intention, to induce a 
belief that the South would or ought to consent tt) 
emancipation; but merely to show how a majority 
in Congress may change, without acknowledging, 
that it had changed its principles, or changed at 


Crawford and family are well. He desired me to 
present you his best wishes. You and all your fami- 
ly have those of your friend 

Nath. Macon. 
Written in haste. I fear it hardly be read. 



(l)The appointment was tendered by Governor John Branch. 
There were two vacancies in 1818, caused by the resignation 
of Robert H, Burton, of Lincoln, who resigned and Blake Ba- 
ker, of Warren, who died. Mr. Yancey's refusal was proba- 
bly owing to the meagre salary of the office and the hard- 
ship involved in travelling long distances over extremely bad 
roads, together with continued absences from home. 

(2) Art. 1, Sec. 8, Par. 1: "Congress shall have power to lay 
and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts 
and provide for the common defence and general welfare of 
the United States: but all duties, imposts, an(l Excises shall 
be uniform throughout the United States." 

Art. 1. Sec. 9: '*The migration or importation of such per- 
sons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to 
admit, shall not be prohibited by Congress prior to the year 
1808," &c. 

Art. 4, Sec. 2, Par. 1: *'The citizens of each State shall 
be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in 
the several States." 

Par. 2 provides for surrender of fleeing criminals. Also to 
those held to service or labor escaping into another State. 

Section 4: **The United States shall guarantee to every 
State a representative form of government, etc." 

Amendment 9: *'The enumeration in the constitution of 
certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage oth- 
ers retained by the people." 

Amendment 10: '*The powers not delegated to the United 
States, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States 
respectively or to the people." 

Art. 1, Sec. 10: **No State shall * * * coin money, 
emit bills of credit, make anything but gold and silver a legal 


tender in payment of debts, ♦ ♦ ♦ pass any law impair- 
ing the obligation of contracts," &c. 

Art. 1, Sec* 8, Par. S: "Congress shall have power to coin 
money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix 
the standard of weights and measures/' 

In the Legal Tender cases, 12 Wallace, 457 the Supreme 
Court of the United States answered Mr. Macon's question 
in the affirmative. 

(4)In 1795 four land companies bribed the members of the 
Greorgia Legislature, ^ except Robert Watkins, to grant to 
them 35,000,000 acres for $500,000, i. e. 70 acres for $1. The 
next year a new legislature unanimously passed a repealing 
act. The Supreme Court, in Fletcher vs. Peck, declared that 
the act of 1795 was a contract which Georgiacould not impair. 
In 1802 Georgia ceded her claims to the territory, now Ala- 
bama and Mississippi, in which the Yazoo fraud lands were 
situate, to the United States. The claimants therefore re- 
sorted to Congress. In 1814 an act was passed by a close vote 
of 84 to 76 compromising the claims, a committee having re- 
ported that, though the original grant was tainted with 
fraud, the subsequent purchasers had no notice of such fraud. 

(5)In 1813 Commodore Decatur was blockaded in the port of 
New London. He made several attempts to run his vessel 
out but was prevented by the vigilance of the British. 
He declared that blue lights were burned to signal the block- 
aders as to his movements. The Republicans hence stigma- 
tized the opponents of the war as Blue Light Federalists, 
equivalent to traitors. 

(6)Delegates from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connec- 
ticut, and from one or two counties in Vermont and New 
Hampshire, met at Hartford December 15, 1814, to January 5, 
1815. They sat in secret and were strongly suspected of de- 
signing to withdraw New England from the Union. The 
New England Federalists became odious to the Republicans. 
Language which seemed to claim the right of secession was 
used in the report of the convention. Congress was asked to 
allow each State to defend itself and to allow Federal taxes to 


be retained for the purpose. Permission was also asked that 
State armies might be raised. Seven amendments to the con- 
stitution were proposed, but not adopted. 

Letter from NatVl Macon to Mr, Bartlett Tancey. 
Washington 7 Peb'y 1819. 

I have in my seat this minute received your letter 
of the 3-instant You ask my opinion concerning the 
conduct of Gcn'l Jackson in the Seminole war: and 
inform me that you have formed yours, but will not 
give it. The example does not agree with the request 
notwithstanding this, I shall state mine. The con- 
stitution gives Congress the sole authority to de- 
clare war; war has been waged and every act of Sov- 
ereign power exercised without the consent of Con- 
gress — the constitution has then been violated, and 
I am for the constitution rather than for man. 
No more for want of time at present. 
Yrs. with esteem 

Nathl. Macon. 


(l)President Monroe in his message in 1818 justified Gen- 
eral Jackson in his pursuit of the Seminole Indians into the 
Spanish territory on the ground of self-defence, that, when 
he found that the Spanish officers had actively aided the In- 
dians, he was right in occupying Pensacola and other pla- 
ces. Jackson was sustained in the House. 70 against 54 
apppoved the execution of Arbuthnot and Ambrister, Brit- 
ish subjects convicted by court martial of aiding the savages. 
91 against 65 voted that the invasion of Florida was not 
against the constitution of the United States. Jackson then 
threatened to cut off the ears of his most active opponents but 
did not offer physical violence to any one. The discovery 
years afterwards that Calhoun had in the Cabinet expressed 
disapproval of his conduct led to breach of friendship between 
the two, which had im|x>rtant political results. 


Letter from NathH Macon to Mr, Bartlett Tancey. 

Washington 19 April 1820. 


Since my last, I have conversed with the Presi- 
denty as requested, on the subject of the outlet(l) 
from the Sound to the ocean ; he promised to have 
the examination desired made ; If the Governor 
should write me, his wish should be attended to. 

The Spanish minister(2) had not yesterday, I be- 
lieve, given any proof, of what he would do, or what 
he expected from the U. S. It is probable, he will be 
willing to make a flourish or two, before he declares 
his ultimatum. The U. S. government ought not, I 
apprehend, to open again the negotiation from the 
beginning of our disputes with Spain. 

The feds(3), I fear are not done with the Missouri \ 

?[uestion ; they will no doubt push it, with a view to | 
orm new parties, on the principle of slave or no 
slave ; it the only hope, left them by which to get 
power ; and power gives offices which are in great 
demand here ; and which members of Congress now 
ask the president for, at least so I am told, and so I 
believe ; that is the doctrine, every one for himself. 
I suspect that Mr. Monroe(4), begins to feel, that 
he cannot safely depend on his new friends and old 
opponents, to support his administration and that he 
is now satisfied, they would rather have a man of 
their own party at the head of the government, and 
permit him with their consent to retire a private 
citizen to Virginia, He will I expect hereafter have 
more troublesome times, than he has done ; after his 
next election, all who want to fill his place, will 
be on the look out, and m his cabinet(5) there is more 
than one ; hence he may expect a divided council ; and 
out of the cabinet rather more than there is in it. 
Add to this the 6,000,000$(6) he found in the Treas- 
ury gone ; and nearly or quite as much wanted at this 
time; and the surplus revenue like to diminish, and 
the people generally at home in debt. 

If Tompkins(7) should be governor of New York, 
there will probably be a smart scuffle here, for the next 
vice president. A few days before Smith's notice for 
the caucuses) some of the warm friends of those who 


were talked of afterwards as candidates, often said, 
that we ougfht now in time of peace, to go back to the 
principles of the constitution, and elect for vice pres- 
ident a man who should afterwards be elected presi- 
dent. Much of common place argument was used in 
favor of it, since the death of the caucus. I have not 
heard a word about the election. It was, I believe, 
killed by the Representation of N. C. who had a 
meeting which I did not attend, and determined not 
to go to the caucus. 

When Congress first met, there was much talk of 
reducing the expenditure within the revenue, but no 
great deal has been done beside the talk. The reduc- 
tion may probably amount to rather more than the 
claims which may be allowed by Congress, and the 
amount which has been added to the appropriation 
act not contained in the estimate. The sinking fund 
will be drained, of every cent that can be spared, 
and then probably loans and taxes; if the manufact- 
uring bill(9) passes as it is, no conjecture can be 
formed, what the deficit will be next year ; and this 
manufacturing scheme was fixed on us, by the strong 
aid of the south as well as some other evils ; g^ve to 
every one his own, is a ^ood rule. How beautiful 
would the congressional improvement look now on 
paper had Madison have put his name to it, and how 
dismal in fact, putting the constitutional question 

I have written this in my seat, you must take it as 
it is. Remember me to Mrs. Yancey and believe me. 

Your friend, 

Nath'l Macon. 


(l)This refers to the futile project of reopening Roanoke 
Inlet opposite Albermarle Sound, which had been closed by a 

(2)The treaty for the cession of Florida to the United 
States, agreed on February 22nd 1819, was not ratified until 
1821, possession being formally delivered on the 18th of July, 
General Andrew Jackson being Governor of the Territory. 
The Spanish minister was as above stated Don Louis de Onis. 


(3)Tlie Missouri Compromise was passed March 3rd 1820. 
Missouri adopted a constitution in July of the same year, 
which established slavery and forbade the immigration of free 
negroes. The last clause led to another compromise by which 
Missouri agreed not to deprive of their constitutional rights 
citizens of other states. 

(4) As the Federalist party was virtually dissolved, and the 
**Era of Good Feeling" had come, Monroe naturally took 
some of them into his confidence. This did not meet the 
approval of the **dyed in the wool" Republicans. In addition 
the President recommended Protection. That his **new 
friends and old opponents" were influencing his mind is prov- 
ed by his incidentally recommending in 1824 both Protection 
and Internal Improvements. 

(5)Adams, Secretary of State, Crawford, of the Treasury 
and Calhoun, of War, were all aspirants for the Presidency 
after Monroe. 

(6)Crawford, Secretary of the Treasury, had estimated 
receipts at $29,525,000 and expenditures at $21,946,351, but 
internal duties were removed and iinports after 1817 were 
much reduced, A deficiency resulted and Congress authorized 
a loan of $3,000,000 to supply it. In 1821 another loan of 
$5,000,000 was necessary. 

(7)Daniel D. Tompkins, of New York, who had been Judge 
of the Supreme Court and Governor, 1807-17, was reelected 
Vice President. 

(8)Caucus, said to have derived its name from a club of 
ship calkers in Massachusetts. From 1800 to 1824 there were 
seven caucuses of Congressmen for the nomination of candi- 
dates for the Presidency and Vice Presidency. There 
were none held in 1820 because there was little opposi- 
tion to Monroe and Tompkins. The last, held in 1824, 
by the Republicans nominated Crawford and Gallatin. 
In 1828 nominations were made by State Legislatures. In 
1831 the present system began to be introduced. The Smith, 
who gave nqtice for the abortive caucus of 1820 was Samuel 
Smith,- member of Congress from Maryland, then in the 
House ; both before and afterwards a Senator. He was a 


brave Revolutionary soldier, as was his brother Robert, who 
was Secretary of the Navy under JeflFerson and of the State 
under part of Madison's term. 

(9) After the War of 1812 large amounts of British manu- 
factures were hurried into the United States. The indus- 
tries which had been stimulated by non- importations were 
hurt and many ruined. Home manufacturers clamored for 
protection by high duties. The Tariff of 1816 was framed 
partly with this view and received the support not only of 
Northern factory owners, but of cotton growers in the South, 
who wished to eKclule the cheap goods of India, their cotton 
not being bought in that country. Monroe in his first mes- 
sage recommended a Protective Tariff, but nothing was then 
done except to continue for seven years the Tariff of 1816 on 
cotton and woolens. The pressure on Congress by manufact- 
urers continued, until 1824 a bill on protection principles was 
passed against votes of New England and the South, by 
members from other sections. In 1828 was passed the bill so 
strongly protective as to be denounced by Southern members 
pure robbery. 

Letter from NatKl Macon to Mr. Bartlett Tancey. 

Washington 5 Dec. 1820 


I have this minute in my seat in the senate re- 
ceived your letter of the 30-ultimo, and will endeav- 
or to answer your questions and requests — The treaty 
with Spain is not known here to be ratified; I how- 
ever incline to the opinion that the administration 
expect it will be; It is probable, (1) the ratiHcation 
may in some measure depend on the doings of the 
allied powers. If they attempt to put down the late 
revolutions in Europe, it may hasten the ratifica- 

Whether the Missouri question will be again de- 
bated in the Senate is rather uncertain; no one has 
yet declared in favor of debating. It is expected(l) 
that a very warm debate will take place ip the H. 
of R on the subjects 


The Missouri question I imafirine decided the elec- 
tion (4) of Speaker in favor of Taylor. 

Governor Branch (5) has been last winter men- 
tioned to administration for Governor of Florida 
when obtained. There is however reason to suspect 
that the oflSce will be given to one who has been a 
distinguished military commander. 

It seems to me, rather improper to give any opinion 
on the other question; perhaps it may be a sort of 
false delicacy, which leads to this conclusion. 

The report of the Treasury not yet received, 
though it is understood, that a considerable deficit 
will appear whtn it shall be laid before Congress. 

The national expenditure must be diminished, or 
taxes must be laid, or monejr rather bank paper bor- 
rowed, or Treasury notes issued, which is another 
name ifor a loan. 

I ought to add that in my opinion if a military man 
be not appointed, that Governor Branch will probably 
be appointed governor of Florida when obtained; for 
every appointment in that country, there is already 
more applicants than can get places. 

I am called to attend a Committee, farewell, beliere 
me to be 

With great esteem and regard 

Yr obt Servt 

Nathl, Macon. 


(l)As heretofore stated, the Spanish treaty was ratified in 
1821. The Holy Alliance of 1815 virtually agreed to aid the 
parties to it in suppressing insurrectionary movements. In 
pursuance of the resolves of the Congress of Troppau and 
Lay bach in 1821, the Liberal movement in Italy was put 
down by Austria. In 1822 the Congress of Verona was held 
and in 1823 the French sent an army into Spain and restored 
the monarchy. It being believed that the allies intended to 
restore to Spain the Spanish colonies in America, Monroe, 
after consulting Jefferson, Madison, J. Q. Adams and Cal- 
houn, and having the support of the British ministry, embod- 
ied what is known as the * ^Monroe Doctrine'' in his message 
to the Congress of 1823. 


(2) The question was debated in both Houses. The exclu- 
sion of free negroes by the constitution of Missouri was ob- 
jected to. In the Senate the amendment offered by John H. 
Eaton, of Tennessee, declaring that Congress by admitting* 
Missouri did not give assent to any clause depriving citizens 
of the United States of any privileges or immunities, was 
adopted, and the resolution of admission passed by 26 votes 
to 18, on the 11th December, 1820. After a long struggle in 
the House, the resolution proposed by Henry Clay, of Ken- 
tucky, that the excluding clause should not authorize the 
passage of any law excluding the citizen of any State from 
any privileges enjoyed under the Constitution of the United 
States, passed on the 29th of February, 1821, by a vote of 86 
to 82 on the second reading and 87 to 81 on the third. Sena- 
tor Eaton entered the University of North Carolina from Hal- 
ifax county, N. C, removed to Tennessee, was Senator 1818- 
'29, Secretary of War, 1829-31; Governor of Florida Territory, 
1834-'36; Minister to Spain, 1836-'40; author of a life of An- 
drew Jackson. 

(4)John W. Taylor, of New York, Representative 1813-'33. 
Speaker from November, 1820, to March, 1821, and 1825-'27. 
Removed to Cleveland, Ohio, 1843. 

(5) John Branch, of North Carolina, graduated at University 
of North Carolina 1801; Governor of North Carolina, 1817-'20; 
United States Senator, 1823-'29; Secretary of the Navy, 1829- 
'31; Representative in Congress, 1831-'33; Governor of the 
Territory of Florida, 1844-'45; died 1863. Often member of 
the Sta4e Legislature. 

Letter from NathH Macon to Mr, Bartleti Tancey. 

Washington 12 Dec'r. 1821, 
Your letter(l) of the 15 ultimo by Gen'l Sanders 
has been received, we board in the same house, he is 
quite an agreeable man, and no doubt calculated to 
represent the District. 

All here of every political party, seem to be well 
pleased with the information of the President, that 


neither taxes or loans will be wanted next year, this 
statement was supposed to have been made on the ex- 
pectation that no extraordinary or uncommon ex- 
pense, will be incurred, during the present session of 

Already there is much talk here, about who is to be 
the next President, and it is frequently -asked who 
N. C. will support for that oflSce. My answer has 
been that I did not know, but probably who was 
thought to be most republican and economical, of 
those that should be named for the appointment. 
I apprehend an effort will be made to ascertain for 
whom N. C. and Penn'a. will vote, before a nomina- 
tion be made ; whether this will be done by a caucus 
as heretofore, is considered rather uncertain, but if 
it be not done publicly as has been usual by one of the 
parties, there will most assuredly be a secret 
understanding, who each of the different parties will 
support, nor is it an easy matter, to ascertain how 
many different parties now exist, particularly as re- 
gards the next presidential election, the old ones are 
much, if not entirely broken, perhaps too much sepa- 
rated to be quickly if ever again united, thpugh tbe 
principles on which they were originally formed will 
always be more or less felt, they are it is believed, too 
old to be lost. 

The change(2) in the constitution of New York, it 
is thought, will in time do away many of the petty 
party distinctions, which have so long distracted 
that large and rich state, and will of course add to 
her weight in the union. 

Unanimity in the south would give great weight, 
to the men, who may be there supported for the of- 
fices of President and Vice President, because at 
present that is scarcely to be expected in some other 
parts of the nation. Beside it is the duty of every 
person, especially those of the South, who wish an 
economical administration of the public revenue to ex- 
amine well the character of those who may be nomi- 
nated for the office of President and vice President. 
I have said especially of the South, because nearly all 
the federal taxes collected there, are paid for theinter- 
est of the public debt, or laid out to the north of the 
James River, hence the constant drain of money from 
the states, to the U. S. bank. This is not strictly 


chargeable to the U.S. bank, because whether that 
existed or not, the money would still be drawn as it 
now is, it operates like a balance of trade almost 
equal to the amount of the national revenue there 
collected ; for example, suppose there be no balance 
of the trade between the two Carolinas and Georgia 
and the states north of them and that from these 
three, there should be annually drawn one million of 
dollars, to be paid or laid out as before stated, the re- 
sult would be the same as if a balance of trade to 
that amount, was against them, because in both cases, 
a million is to leave them. 

I have heard since being here, that great division of 
opinion exists in N. Carolina, as to the man who ought 
to be the next president, if this be true, it may well 
be doubted, whether there, like here, the question 
has not been too soon started, because a man may be 
now approved, who might not be in a few years. It 
may not however be amiss, to state, that I have 
heard(3) all the Secretaries named as well as several 
others for the appointment, and that at present the 
Secretary of the Treasury appears to have the 
best chance. 

It is probable, we shall not very soon hear of the 
Missouri free negro question unless it be used with a 
view, to unite the non-slave-holding States in favor 
of the same person for president; and if attempted it 
would probably have diflferent effect in Penna. 

After reading this scrawl you will not again re- 
quest me to write long and often; it is hard, to, when 
there is nothing to communicate; Gales and Seaton 
give all that is done here as well as something that 
is done elsewhere; I have had to scuffle hard to find 
this much: I am with great respect and esteem 

Yr. ob't Servt 

Nathl. Macon. 

The ground covered with snow. 

I have neither time nor inclination, to write this 
again to correct or make more plain. 

(l)Romulus Mitchell Saunders, bom in Caswell county, 
North Carolina, March, 1861; a lawyer; Representative in 
Congress, 1821-27 and 1841-'4S; Attorney General of North 


Carolina, 1828-'35; Judge of the Superior Court, 183S-'04 
and again 1852-'67; was defeated as the Democratic candidate 
for Governor, 1840; Minister to Spain 1845-'49; Trustee of the 
University of North Carolina forty-eigfht years; Died a resi- 
dent of Raleigh April 21, 1867. 

(2)Before 1821 a voter in New York for the lower house 
must have been a ;^20($S0) free holder or a 40 shilling ($10 per 
annum) renter; a voter for Senator and Governor must have had 
a freehold worth ;£100 ($250). There were thousands of men, 
some wealthy, holding long leases, some for 999 years, from 
Trinity Church and the great Dutch manors, and others who 
had agreed to purchase and partly paid for lands, who were 
disfranchised, at least in part. There was ^Iso a Council 
of Appointment, which had the right to appoint about fifteen 
thousand six hundred offices in the State and city of New 
York, and a Council of Revision, which had the veto power, 
to be defeated only by a two thirds vote. Both these bodies 
were unpopular, being charged with favoritism and fraud. 
A convention was called in 1821 which, with other changes, 
abolished the councils and the property qualification of 
voters. Van Buren was one of the ablest advocates for 
the amendments. 

(3)John Quincy Adams, of Massachusetts, Secretary of 
State; William Harris Crawford, of Georgia, Secretary of 
the Treasury; John Caldwell Calhoun, of South Carolina, Sec- 
retary of War; Smith Thompson, of New York, Secretary of 
the Navy; Return Jonathan Meigs, of Ohio, Postmaster 
General; William Wirt, of Virginia, Attorney General. 

Letter from NatVl Macon to Mf. Bartlett Tancey. 

Washington 17 April 1821. 

I incline to the opinion that it will require 
more exertion than you expect, to get the vote of N. 
C. for Crawford at the next presidential election. 
Calhoun (1) was last summer in Pennsylvania, and 
will be this in the South; you know well his talent 


by very general observations for gaining on strangers. 
The newspaper at Salisbury seems to be in his favor, 
and I have no doubt that several of our Representa- 
tives here are also for him. Who will be in the 
Assembly at the proper time to recommend electors? 
W. Alston(2) and Smith(3) are reported to be for 

I should have been very much gratified to see you 
this summer; I have heard that the president-makers 
here, particularly the friends of Calhoun have already 
written to other States to get support for their candi- 

God bless you and yours is the sincere wish of 

Your friend, 

Nathl. Macon. 


(1)A portion of the members of the General Assembly met 
in caucus and nominated Crawford. A **People's Ticket" for 
Jackson was at once put out. The vote of the people was 
20,415 for the Jackson electors and 15,620 for those of Craw- 
ford. Neither Clay nor Adams were voted for. 

Calhoun was not in the field for the Presidency, as only 
South Carolina nominated him. For the Vice-Presidency he 
received 182 votes out of 260. Virginia cast her 24 votes for 
Nathl. Macon. 

(2)Willis Alston, of Halifax, N. C. He defeated General 
W. R. Davie for Congress in 1803; served from 1803-'19 and 
1825-'31. He was a member of the State Legislature 1791-'2, 
l794-'6, and 1803-M. 

(3) James S. Smith, M.D., Hillsboro, N. C; afterwards near 
Chapel Hill, N. C. Representaties in Congress 1817 to 1821. 
Was also a member of the General Assembly 1821-'2 and 
of the Convention of 1835. 

Letter from Nath'l Macon to Mr. Bartlett Yancey, 

Washington 17 March 1822. 
It is reported here, that the Salisbury news paper, is 
out decidedly against(l) C— and that some of our ex- 


members of Congress are the same way; The oppo- 
sition to him, will be determined and violent, his 
friends ought not to expect, that he will be elected, 
and they 1^ idle. You know all the men whose names 
have been mentioned for the next president, and that 
some of them are remarkable for their talents at shy- 
hogging(2), and never loose the opportunity of using 
them. The General Assembly at which the electors 
of (3)P. & V. P. are named, will be a very important 
one in N. Carolina, and the members ought to be se- 
lected with a view to the presidential election. 
God preserve you many years 

Nath'l Macon. 


(l)Wm. H. Crawford. 

(2) An examination of the Century Dictionary and of others^ 
including two on ** Americanisms", fails to find this word. I 
have enquired also of old men in Mr. Macon's county and else- 
where, without Access, The meaning is suflScientfy clear. 
Bishop Cheshire suggests that it originated from the practice 
of hunting the woods for stray, or **shy", hogs, when the 
planter gathered in his herd in the autumn for fattening them 
on corn. 

(3)Mr. Macon means that the members of the General As- 
sembly would, in caucus or otherwise, nominate fifteen elec- 
tors, to be voted for by the people. The election for the Gen- 
eral Assembly was on the first Thursday in August; that for 
electors on the second Thursday in November. The election 
was by general ticket under the Act of 1815. 

Letter from NatKl Macon to Mr, Burtlett tancey. 

Washington 16 Feb. 1823, 

The second committee(l) appointed in con- 
sequence of the letter of Gales and Seaton(2) address- 
ed to the speaker of the H. of R,, has not yet 
reported, though it is understood, that this commit- 
tee has not discovered a fact, that will injiire the rep- 
utation of them or of Crawford; as to myself I know 


nothing- more than the newspapers have con- 
tained; but incline to the opinion, that the whole 
truth and nothing but the truth, will never be discov- 
ered; everj one acquainted with the secret doing's 
will remain unknown, if possible, especially as neith- 
praise nor honor is likely to be g-ained. 

The rage for manufacturing is quite as great as it 
ever was for Merino sheep(3) or banks, and it is be- 
lieved that the zealots, are perfectly willing to pro- 
hibit the importation from a foreign country of every 
article, they wish to encourage the manufacturing of 
in the United States. 

Your friend Calhoun is reported to be training of (4) 
Adams, Crawford and Clay bear their training. Wheth- 
er the dash made at Adams by Smyth(S) has injured 
him in any way I do not know; The push at Crawford 
by the suppressed document(6) has not altered his 
condition, and whether the manufacturing- run has 
improved Clay is not understood, nor has the cause of 
the report of Calhoun's training(7) of been heard. 

Saunders(8) write everything- 1 expect, and this is 
only sent as a sort of farewell for the Session, and to 
put you in mind that you are not forgotten by 

Your friend, 

Nathl. Macon. 


(l)Crawford was'charged with administering- the finances 
so as to gain popularity. The specifications were that he em- 
ployed members of Congress to inspect the land oflSces, and, 
secondly, that he had shown improper favors to certain West- 
em banks. A special committee reported that he was justi- 
fied in his conduct. 

The Secretary was called on for a special report of all his 
transactions with the banks. He did so, and it was found 
that one of the documents had been suppressed. A second 
committee after investigation reported tliat they had been 
unable to discover the author of the suppression, but they ex- 
onerated the Secretary, and also Messrs. Cook and Edwards, 
of Illinois, of the first committee, who once had possession of 
the missing paper. The Secretary promptly furnished a copy 


of a letter of his which was the material part of the missing' 
document. He admitted having* authorized the receipt of un- 
current bank notes, but believed at the time they were good. 
He contended that his action increased the sale of public 

(2)Joseph Gales and William W. Seaton, publishers of the 
independent paper called the National Intelligencer^ and 
of the Annals of Congress. They were the official printers. 

(3)This rage for the importation of the Merino and of the 
finer woolcd sheep was just after the war of 1812, 

(4)Mr. Macon omits a letter. He means ^'training oflF," an 
expression among racing men indicating that the horse is not 
improving. Calhoun developed so little strength that his 
friends concluded not to start him. Adams, Crawford and Clay, 
on the contrary, bear their training so well that they will be 
entered for the race. It is to be noticed that Jackson is not 
mentioned, although he received the largest vote. 

(5) Alexander Smyth, Wythe county, Va., Representative in 
Congress, 1817-'2S and 1827-'31. He was a general in the war 
of 1812. He assailed Adams, giving reasons for not support- 
ing him for the Presidency. Adams made a reply so severe 
and cogent as to win friends, rather than lose them. 

(6) Romulus M. Saunders, Representative from Yancey's dis- 

Letter from NathH Macon to Mr. Bartlett lancey. 

Washington 17 Feb'y 1823. 

I have this day received your letter of the 10 cur- 
rent, permit me to state :hat I have never turned my 
attention much to(l) the convention question, not ex- 
pecting ever to be in a situation to decide on it, and 
always considering my rights secure, whether one 
should be called or not. Permit me to observe to you, 
that no constitution in the U. S. exactly suits me; be- 
cause the patronage is in no one divided; The(2) idea 
of balancing a government by three departments; 
where one cannot receive anything from the other two 
and the other two can take another place from the 


other, is fallacious. The thrifty part of government 
is that which bestows the loaves and fishes; hence in 
all free government, the patronage should be divided, 
and no member of one department, should be allowed 
to receive a place from another. 

I do not like any qualification in voters, save a cer- 
tain residence, and age, and to have paid a tax; one 
house ought to be sufficiently numerous to represent 
the people fairly, and originate every bill. TheC3) 
other should not be numerous but old, only to revise 
and amend bills; for example, the Senate should not 
be under a given age, and those who vote for a Sena- 
tor of the same age; everj voter for both branches 
of the legislature be eligible. 

I have written this in the Senate; I wrote you a day 
or two past, God bless you and your household 

Nath'l Macon. 

These hints are intended to put you to reflecting on 
the points. 

N. M. 


(l)The western part of the State was fiercely agitating the 
calling of a convention to amend the State constitution of 
1776. The chief grievance was that each county sent one 
Senator and two Commoners. As there were many small 
counties in the east, that section had about two-thirds weight 
in both houses. The convention was called in 1835, and to a 
considerable extent remedied the inequality, besides making 
other material changes. 

(2) Mr. Macon alludes to the power of the President to ap 
point judges and gain the favors of Congressmen by promis- 
ing office. 

(3)This plan of having the State Senators of a greater age 
than Representatives, (then called Commoners), the same age 
limit being applied to the voters, and giving this elderly body 
only powers of revision and amendment, is original with Mr. 
Macon, I think. The second idea is embodied in the Federal 
^onstitutioffin regard to bills for raising revenue. 


Letter from NatVl Macon to Mr. Barlett Tancey. 

Washinfifton 12 Dec'r 1823. 

I have this day received your letter of the 7 in- 
stant; in which you state, that you had seen my let- 
ter to Mr. Robert H. Jones,(l) in which I did not say 
whether I should attend a caucus, (2) if there be one 
here during the present session of Congress; but in- 
formed him what had been my practice for many years 
past and I now add for the last 20 or more, and no 
objection that I ever heard, has been taken to it be- 
fore. In the contest between Mr. Madison and Mr. 
Monroe, when the first named was first elected, I was 
neither at the caucus nor signed the protest, nor was 
it published in any news paper which of them I pre- 
ferred, yet every one knew for whom 1 should vote; 
and that election was considered as important, as the 
one now depending, because it was then declared that 
the Feds would support Mr. Monroe, and it was known 
that a part of the Republicans would. 

I have more than a year past reflected much wheth- 
er my attending a caucus, would do good or harm, as 
it regards the election of Mr. Crawford, and am fully 
convinced it would do no good and might do much 
harm. If I attend; might it not, nay would it not be 
said, that after having refused more than 20 years 
and that too in the troublesome time of war and the 
Hartford convention, that now in time of peace the 
principles or practice is changed; and that ever^man 
has his price, and that Crawford, the master intriguer, 
is the first and only one, who has been able to find 
and touch the chord which produced the change and 
is it not known, that I am neither for the new Tar- 
iff to encourage manufactures, nor for the plan of in- 
ternal improvement by the federal government, nor 
a member of the colonizingCS) society, and each of 
these will have weight in the election; a change at 
this time would give rise to suspicions, that a prom- 
ise or bargain existed on one or more of these subjects, 
or that a plan was expected or wanted. 

Reflect much and consider well, before you decide 
what another ought to do; if I have the national in- 
fluence, which you suppose, by what means has it 
been obtained, not I am sure, by pursuing the opin- 


iofts of others. But in truth I have no influence. nor 
never had, and my opinions are become too old fash- 
ioned for the present time; they are out of fashion and 
called, the old school; Mr. Jefferson is probably the 
only man, that has national influence, and the new 
notions a float about the tariff and internal improve- 
ments by the federal government has I apprehend di- 
minished his a g-ood deal, 

I have as you and everybody else knows, been in 
Congress with Mr. Crawford all the time, that he was 
a member but never in the same house with him. 
His talents, independence, firmness and honesty I nev- 
er heard doubted by a single member who served with 
him; his republicanism was not then questioned, nor 
do I recollect but one vote of his, which was thought 
to be at variance, with the old republican doctrine, 
and that was to renew the charter of the first Bank of 
the U. S., and that certainly would have been better 
than establishinjjf the present one; he was a zealous 
advocate for the declaration of war, and had to exert 
himself to get it carried through the senate. I lived 
several Sessions at the same boarding house with him 
and have been on the most friendly terms since our 
first acquaintance and intend to vote for him against 
any candidate yet named, for the next president; but 
it really seems useless to write all this to you, who 
know him as well as I do. 

(4) As to the vote of New York a gentleman of that 
State referred me, to a statement, he had given Saun- 
ders for you; it is understood that Pennsylvania(5) 
will support the caucus nomination if one be made, 
without such a nomination doubtful, Mr. Gallatin and 
the old republicans support Mr. Crawford. The opin- 
ion of Governor Schultz not heard by me. 

I will make a single observation of the instructions 
you mention, which is this. The principal instructs 
the agent, not in the character of agent but an individ- 
ual. Every citizen in the U. S. has right to recom- 
mend, to the people any person he pleases for the 
next president if such person be qualified according 
to the constitution. The members of Congress or any 
other people may recommend a man for President; all 
have the same right. 

I have often in my life had to regret differing in 


opimon with my friends, and never was it more un- 
pleasant or disagreeable than in the present case; and 
all that I shall now say, is that I have not yet decid- 
ed to attend the caucus. 

Permit me, before I close to remark on the follow- 
ing* words in your letter; // is time for you to come out 
plain to yourjiicndson thts subject. -1 never did other- 
wise; responsibility I never dreaded, and invariably 
followed my own opinions. My letter to Jones was 
an answer to one from him; and sufficiently plain to 
convince you both that I had not decided at the time 
it was wrote, to attend a caucus; and that was all, 
which was intended to be conveyed; I beg: «f you to 
believe, that these remarks are only made to justify 
myself, and not to impute an unfriendly thought to 
you; to pass them in silence, would seem to admit, 
that they were just. 

I expect every man in North Carolina knows, that 
I prefer Crawford to any of the named candidates; and 
it may be, that most of the editors of the newspapers 
know it, as it has been stated in the regfister(6) print- 
ed in Raleigh without having the information from 
me; I mention this, because I am not writing for pub- 
lication or print; you may let whoever you please 
read it. 

I have not written to you before and it was because I 
was certain that Saunders would advise you of the 
doings here, and I have been out so seldom, that I see 
nor hear nothing of the busy men or their doings, for 
all plans have busy men. 

Crawford (7) is still very low, and mends very slow, 
when he will be able to attend to the whole duties 
of his office, is uncertain; his children have the meas- 
les; It would gratify me very much, that you or Jones 
would now and then give me line: 

The(8) opinion of General Jackson about the con- 
stitutionality of the U. S. banks, I do not know; all 
the other candidates for the presidency, were in fav- 
or of the last. 

My great objection to attending a caucus, is that 
the minority yield their opinion, and support what 
they disapprove, for example; Suppose I attend and 
a majority prefer one of the other candidates to Craw- 


ford, nay the one, to whom I have the greatest objec- 
Believe me to be 

With great reg-ard and esteem 
Sir— Yr. ob'l Serv't 

Nath'i, Macon. 


(l)Robert H. Jones was Attorney General of North Carolina 
in 1828 by appointment of Gov. Owen, was defeated before 
the Leg-islature by Romulus M. Saunders. He was afterwards 
a member of the State Legislature from Warren. 

(2)The caucus of 1824 was attended by only sixty members. 
Two others sent proxies. Crawford received sixty-four votes; 
Adams two, Jackson one and Macon one. Albert Gallatin for 
Vice President received fifty-seven votes. In the North Caro- 
lina Legislature Charles F. Fisher, an ardent friend of Cal- 
houn, introduced resolutions denouncing Congressional cau- 
cuses, firstly, as impliedly against the constitution, which 
gives the choice of President to electors chosen as therein pre- 
scribed; secondly, because the election might possibly devolve 
on the House of Representatives and it is wrong for them to 
commit themselves beforehand. The resolutions were debat- 
ed at length and with great ability in the House of Commons 
and were defeated by the decisive vote of 82 to 46. The de- 
bate was printed in pamphlet form. 

(3)The national Colonization Society was started in 1816. 
Branches were soon established in almost every State. Much 
interest was felt in it until the Abolition party began its ca- 
reer in 1831. The Republic of Liberia is an outcome of its 

(4) In New York the choice of electors was by the Legisla- 
ture. After many ballots a compromise ticket was passed, viz: 
25 for Adams, 7 for Clay and 4 for Crawford, but 3 of the Clay 
men deserted him and voted one each for Jackson, Adams and 

(S)A convention of the people held at Harrisburg nominat- 
ed Jackson, with only one dissenting. Governor Schlutz prob- 


ably went with the rest. Calhoun was named for Vice Pres- 

(6)The Raleigfh Register was the Republican organ in Ral- 
eigh. It was edited by Joseph Gales, a refugee from Shef- 
field, England, where as Secretary of the Constitutional So- 
ciety, and editor of the SheflSeld Register, he was threatened 
with imprisonment, at a time when the Habeas Corpus Act 
was suspended, for criticising too freely the conductor the ad- 
ministration. He was induced by the advice of prominent 
Jeffersonians to start a newspaper in Raleigh in opposition to 
the Minerva, edited by Wm. Boylan, a Federalist. The first 
number was issued in the latter part of 1799 and was contin- 
ued without interruption for about sixty years, for a short 
while his son-in-law, W. W. Seaton, being his partner, and 
after his death by his son, Weston Raleigh Gales, and, when 
he died, by his grandson, Seaton Gales. A file of this paper 
is in the State Library at Raleigh. 

(7)Crawford, while hunting in Virginia on a very hot day, 
had a severe attack of sickness which left his body weakened, 
and, as many thought, his mind impaired. He was probably 
never afterward^ strong enough to perform properly the dut- 
ies of President. 

(8)In his first message, 1829, Jackson expressed doubt of 
the Constitutionality of the Bank charter, although the Su- 
preme Court in McCuUoch vs. Maryland in 1819 decided in 
favor of its validity. 

Letter from NathH Macon to Mr, Bartlett Tancey* 

Washington 26 Dec'r 1824 

I have been desirous of writing to jou since 
my arrival, but in truth there has been nothing worth 
communicating, nor have I at this time a single fact 
or incident worthy notice. Very soon after getting 
here one of the representatives of N. C. asked me 
what I thought the friends of Crawford ought to do; 
this question was put in the presence of two or three 
others of our brethren; the answer was do nor say 


nothing, by a union you have been defeated let the 
victors(l) try to decide who shall be president, be- 
cause you may at any time, take your choice if you 
think proper of those you do not approve. 

The president appears to be in a fine humor and 
good spirits. Crawford's health seems to be good, 
and he is as fat as I ever saw him; though he has 
now an impedimeni in his speech, ve/v much like that 
of Tucker(2) t\i^ Treasurer. 

Ho^the industrious go on, in electioneering for 
the president, though I have heard some who sup- 
ported the ticket against Crawford say, they feared 
very much one of the Union candidates would be 
elected and that they never wanted him. 

The republican party and their principles are I fear 
out of fashion, though something like^ a revival, 
seems to be taking place in South Carolina, at least 
in their Legislature. If tJongress can make banks, 
roads and canals under the constitution; they can free 
any slave(:f) in the United States, so I long since 
have told you, and so I formerly told Calhoun, and 
often I believe in yonr presence and that of others. 
The spirit of emancipating with those who have no 
slaves, never dies, it may sleep now and then rest on- 
ly awake more vigorous; early in Congess I discover- 
ed or thought I did a desire to meddle with the con- 
ditions of the slaves, and every debate since, in which 
they have been mentioned stronger and stronger^ 
ground has been taken; to free them in the south, 
would be the means of destroying either the blacks 
or whites, as at San Domingo. 

Suppose that Congress had complete power to 
make internal improvements and that each state had 
also a complete power, would it be the interest of 
N. C for Congress to undertake it; would she not by 
the plan of Calhoun, pay vastly more for improve- 
ments in other states, than would or I might say 
could properly be laid out in her; taking the federal 
members(4) as the rule to to find the proportion each 
ought to pay; her proportion of a single canal contem- 
plated, would at least be treble what would be laid 
out for her; to make us pay for the improvements of 
others, has not appeared right or just to me, admit- 
ting the power in Congress, which however is denied. 


I pray you to examine and re-examine the constitu- 
tion on these very interesting points. 

When will you finish the purchase of the divided 
tract of land on the river, parts of which you have 
been buying for several years past, and build a house 
on it or somewhere else; for I suppose you like every 
other person, are desirous of one two-story high. 

The main object of beginning this letter should 
now be stated, which is this to give Mrs. Yancey and 
all your children the right hand of fellowship and 
goodwill for 

Yr. friend 
Nath. Macon 

New parties, will I suspect rise in the Unted States 
not founded like the old, on the construction of the 
constitution; that may in part divide them. They 
may I fear be like the parties, in a few states, rather 
the followers of men than principles; principles how- 
ever may be mixed with the admiration of the men 
but the love of a snug office is apt to attach to such 

I did not enquire about the land and house, to sat- 
isfy an idle curiosity; or improper desire to know the 
affairs of yourself or anybody else, but with a view to 
g^ess, when it would suit you to be here again. 

Every member of the assembly who supported 
Crawford ought to go to the assembly again if they 
can be elected; they ought not to give up the ship; if 
you wish ever to be a public character here remain in 
the assembly. The present representatives of N. C. 
who support Crawford ought to follow the plan laid 
down for members of assembly. 

I went to Weldon last fall at the stockholders of 
the Roanoke navigation(S), in the hope of meeting 
you, Saunders and some others there, and was en- 
tirely disappointed in not seeing either of you, I 
caught 12 foxes before I left home; eat of the venison 
of S wild deer; last year I had a part of 9. 

^y tobacco much injured by the rain; com pretty 
good considering the land is poor. 

I know nothing more of Capt, Porter's doings in 
Porto Rico (6) than may be seen in the enclosed paper 
in a piece signed John Hampden; in the 'constitution 
formed in 1776, are these words, standing armies in 
time of peace are dangerous, or some very like them; 


regular forces whether armies or navies generally 
prefer war to peace, war gives an opportunity for 
fame and glory. The power to declare war is given 
to Congress, but why give it to that body, if an offi- 
cer, may fight when he pleases, not so in the time of 
Jefferson. N. M. 


(l)Congress met on the 6th of December, 1824. There was 
much excitement about the coming contest in the House for 
the Presidency. In Febuary, 1825, on counting the electoral 
votes, Jackson received 99 votes, Adams 84, Crawford 41 and 
Clay 37. The House could only vote for the first three. The 
Clay men voted for Adams and elected him. 

(2)Thomas Tudor Tucker, Treasurer of the United States 
from 1810 to his death in 1828. He was a native of Bermuda, 
settled in South Carolina; Representative in the Congress of 
the United States, l789-'93. 

(3)A8 Mr. Macon's district had many slaves and slave-own- 
ers in it, this argument was naturally potent with his constit- 
uents. It was composed of the counties of Granville, Prank^ 
lin, Warren and Nash. 

(4)* 'Federal numbers" were all free persons and three fifths 
of the slaves. 

(5)The Roanoke Navigation Company was chartered to dig 
a canal around the falls of the river and make it navigable 
above Weldon. The State had stock in it. 

(6)Commodore David Porter, who had distinguished him- 
in the war of 1812, was ordered to clear the West Indies of 
pirates, who found a welcome in some of the harbors of Cuba 
and Porto Rico. He landed a force in Porto Rico for the pur- 
suit and captured of some of these robbers. He was tried by 
court martial, first, for disobeying the orders of the President, 
and, second, for invading the territory of Spain, with which 
nation we were at peace. His defence was that his action 
was necessary for suppressing piracy. He was convicted and 
sentenced to suspension for six months. He resigned from 
our navy in disgust and took charge of the Mexican navy with 
a salary of $25,000. When Jackson became President he ap- 


pointed Porter Consul to the Barbary States and then Minis- 
ter to Turkey. 

Letter from NathH Macon to Mr. Bartlett lancey. 

Washing-ton 25 Jany 1825. 

It seems that a majority of the members of Assem- 
bly of several of the Western states(l) prefer Henry 
Clay for the next President. A party in Maine(2) 
have recommended Adams lor the appointment, how 
these expressions of opinion have been broupcht about, 
I am entirely ignorant; be it as it may, the indication 
is unfavorable to Crawford I apprehend, aud will 
make exertions necessary to his election; in the early 
part of the Session, it was supposed that his chance 
was the best; whether it be so now is rather more un- 
certain, indeed the probability is, that he has not 
g-ained during the present session. New York is still 
pretty silent, though I have understood, that the 
paper called the American, has come out for Adams. 

(3)Saunders I expect, knows more of the doings 
of the next presidential election than I do, as he some 
times goes out, and I never do. 

The enclosed paper is sent that you may read an 
agricultural production. 

Give Mrs. Yancey my good will, tell your children 
I wish them well, and believe me 

Yr friend 

Nathi.. Macon. 


(l)The Kentucky and Ohio Legislatures nominated Clay. 

(2)The General Assembly of Maine nominated Adams. 

(3)Romulus M. Saunders, a Representative from North Car- 
olina in the district in which Yancey lived. He afterwards 
removed to Raleigh and represented the ''Metropolitan dis- 
trict", as it was called. 

Letter from NatKl Macon to Mr. Bartlett Tancey. 

Washington 15 May 1825. 
Your letter of the 17-instant has beeen received ; 


you know how a Session ends, I am too tired and too 
busy to write, and have something to do before start- 
ing- tomorow 

God bless you and yours 

Nath'l Macon. 

Letter from NathH Macon to Mr, Bartlett Tancey, 

Washington 8 Dec'r 1825. 
The message of the President, seems to claim 
all the power to the federal Government, which has 
heretofore produced so much debate, and which the 
election of Mr. Jefferson was supposed to have set- 
tled ; but so it is, that a decision against power in 
the Government is no precedent, while one in favor 
of it is, hence all governments are apt to gain power, 
to which the Governors do not often object ; Mr. 
Madison(l) rejected an act for internal improvement, 
and Mr. Monroe(2) rejected one to put gates on the 
Cumberland road ; though he admitted the power to 
give money, or to take share in companies established 
• by the states for internal improvement ; but of what 
avail are these, if another president decide differently 
' and a majority in Congress agree with him ; I never 
think of these claims of power, which appear to me, 
not to be granted, but I shudder for the states, whose 
population is not of the same character, to be plain I 
mean the states where slavery exists ; I pray you ex- 
amine again the Constitution, with the sole view to 
f decide, whether if Congress can establish a bank or 
make roads and canals, whether Congress cannot also 
free every slave in the several states, there is no 
clause in the constitution forbidding it, there is one 
to prevent the states protecting slaves, that have run 
away ; the spirit of emancipation is more strong & 
enthusiastic than that for internal improvement, it 
may sleep, but it never dies, it has been adopted by 
i religious societies, with a zeal not like to tire, be- 
sides abolition and colonizing societies abound ; when 
reflecting on this subject, the new continental (4) 
American governments as well as San Domingo pre- 
sent themselves to the mind, the first is understood to 
consist of people of every color, and the last of blacks, 
the effect of color is felt by every person, perhaps 


more easily felt, than described; color is mentioned 
only with a view to San Domingo. 

The strange(4) kind of acknowledgement which 
Prance has made of the Independence of San Domingo, 
must have some particular meaning, and that may be, 
to place the two Governments hereafter on the most 
friendly & intimate terms; France by being thus 
friendly with the Island may calculate, if war should 
take place, between her & her old rival, to operate on 
the British West Indies, by the forces of the Island ; 
and it is not improbable, that the situation of San 
Domingo gave rise to the enquiry in the British par- 
liament, touching the slaves in the West Indes and it 
may be remarked, that the great object of the Col- 
onies to Great Britain, is the profit of trade with 
them, profit is probably more thought of than color 
or the Inhabitants It is hardly necessary to add, that 
France might use in case of need the forces of San 
Domingo against the U. S. in the same way she 
might against Jamaica. 

Whether the whites and the blacks can live peace- 
ably and happy in the same country, where the num- 
bers are nearly equal, is a problem yet to be solved, & 
the difficulty of the solution, will be increased by the 
different grades each may have held in the country, 
while one were free & others not. 

Permit me to add, though not immediately con- 
nected with the subject before mentioned, that it is 
not the character of the laborers, which has injured 
the country, but the kind of crop cultivated, com, 
cotton and tobacco all require much ploughing, & a 
clear cultivation, which prepares the land, to be 
washed away by heavy & hasty rains. The charac- 
ter of the laborer whether free or slave is not connect- 
ed with it, nor ought it to be forgotten that many of 
the state Legislatures have passed resolutions against 
slavery which are published and re-published again 
& again : It is made piracy by the laws of the U. S, 
to bring a slave from Africa, what then is it, to hold 
one on land being a descendant of an African(S). A 
debate(6) about thirty years past in the H. of R. com-\ 
pelled me to believe that there were some people, who ] 
then thought, that Congress might legislate on the I 
condition of the slaves, & no circumstance has taken \ 



place since to induce a cbang-e of that belief. The 
question with us, is not an original question of slavery 
or not slavery ; but what is the power of the federal 
\ Government ; The power to authorize banks, roads 
< & canals, was not claimed, as well as I recollect 
by the authors of the book, now called the federalist, 
nor do I recollect that a singfle remark or observation 
of any person called a federalist was made which 
could be construed to claim this power, while the con- 
stitution was under consideration. 
I am with great regard and esteem 

Yr obt servt & friend 

Nath'l. Macon. 


(l)Ia December, 1816, Calhoun, as chairman, introduced a 
bill to set apart dividends and bonus of the National Bank for 
roads and canals. After long debate it passed with some 
amendments. Madison vetoed it on the last day of the session. 

(2)In May, 1821, Monroe vetoed a bill for the preservation 
of the Cumberland road. 

(3)The fears of Mr. Macon that Congress would interpret 
the Constitution to give it power to emancipate slaves were 
not realized. They were freed in part as a war measure, but 
chiefly by an amendment to the Constitution, which the states 
which attempted secession were virtually forced to ratify. 
Congress emancipated those in the District of Columbia be- 
cause it had exclusive legislation over it. 

(4)In 1795 Spain ceded San Domingo to France. In 1801 
the blacks, headed by Toussaint Louverture, drove out the 
French. In 1802 Napoleon sent an army under General Le- 
clerc to subdue the island, but it only partially succeeded, 
being ruined by yellow fever. Napoleon intended, having 
induced Spain to cede to France the Louisiana Territory, to 
make a grand colony of the same with San Domingo attached, 
but on breaking out of the war with England, sold the Lou- 
isiana territory to the United States. In 1809 England, hav- 
ing captured it, gave San Domingo to Spain. lu 1822 Boyer, 
President of Hayti, occupied it and the whole island was 


under the rule of Africans, under the name of the Republic of 
Hayti. In 1844 the San Doming-o part was erected into the 
Dominican Republic. Mr. Macon seems to fear a possible re- 
vival of Napoleon's scheme. The horrible massacres of the 
whites in Sdn Domingo and Hayti and the emancipation of 
slaves in the Spanish possessions, which had recently g-ained 
their independence, were thought by the slave-holders of the 
United States to be causes of unrest among their slaves. 

(5)By Act passed in 1820. 

(6)Mr. Wilson's paper supra explains this statement. I add 
that, in common with most Southern people, Mr. Macon was 
fully persuaded that negroes, if freed, would resort to robbery 
and theft, if not arson and murder, and thus emancipation 
would ruin both whites and blacks. They thought that the 
Abolition party was seeking to bring on them, their wives 
and children, such woes as the soldiers of Tilly inflicted on 
Magdeburg and savage Indians on the settlers in the Wyo- 
ming valley. The slaves of 1820 had much more of the sav- 
age nature than those of 1860. Forty years of civilizing 
influences did good work. 

Lette7 from Nathaniel Macon to Mr, Bartlett Tancey. 

Washington 29 Jan'y 1826 

(l)Captain Otway Burns of Beaufort is now here, & 
has delivered me your letter of the 3-instant, that of 
the 18 has also been received ;It is a misfortune that 
the bill (2) concerning free negroes did not become a 
law, there is no place for them, in places where slaves 
are numerous, & if they are permitted to come into the 
state, the adjoining states will furnish more emi- 
grants of them, than an opposer of the bill would be 
willing to receive 

The particular friends of the administration, make 
more noise about an opposition, than any others, in 
truth, it may be doubted, whether the materials to 
form one, could be found in Congress, those who were 
not pleased with the election of the president, or the 
manner in which it was done, do not agree, in the 
person, they desired to be elected, nor do they agree 


in their political principles; hence no unity of action 
can be expected, because they do not agree about meas- 
ures or men. Among- the supporters of each candi- 
date for the presidency, was to be found every cast of 
political character, agreeing in nothing", except the 
man, who ought to be elected. 

If there is a serious opposition circumstances must 
produce it. 

It is reported. & I believe truly, that a new treaty 
has been made, with the (3)anti-McIntosh party, of 
the Creeks, which will probably be laid before the Sen- 
ate in a few days; It is to be expected that a part of 
the land, here tofore acquired by the last treaty must 
have been given up, if so, it will raise anew question 
something like this, whether after the Indian title to 
land be extinguished in a state, the U. S. can again 
vest the same title in the Indians, and whether the ex- 
ecutive can or ought to inquire into the facts of civil 
matters, by a military tribunal 

The present Congress, as has I believed been stated 
to you before, does not afford a rule, by which to 
judge of public opinion, on the presidential election 
because most of the elections were made, before that. 
This wil give the administration two years to pre- 
pare for the next election of Congress, which is cer- 
tainly no small advantage, and as the executive pat- 
ronage may be increased, so will be increased, the ad- 
vantages of preparing for it. The number of cadets 
to the military academy may be increased, and the 
erection of a (4)uavai academy will add largely to it. 
The efiFect of patronage may be seen in Great Britain 
& must sooner or later be felt in the United States, 
nor would(5) light houses of the sky prevent its be- 
ing felt. 

A Government which has complete power over the 
purse and sword, with a patronage of millions of dol- 
lars, cannot easily be kept in check, by a constitution 
which by construction or implication can be made to 
mean whatever a majority may deem expedient or con- 
venient; Remember that every person, who receives 
public money for services rendered, except the mem- 
bers of Congress, and the ofi&cers of the two houses 
& the judges of the courts, receive it at &by the will 
of the executive, and that whoever is president, has 
been supported by most if not all who thus receive the 


public money, where one has failed to do this in for- 
mer times, he has been dismissed. 

Of all schemes ever devised to increase the ^wer \ 
of the executive, that of internal improvement is by I 
far the most tremendous, because, it operates on all; J 
both the rich & the poor consider it a power exercised / 
for their benefit, and all expect an improvement near 
their land, by which they are to add greatly to their 
property and all who are in debt, expect a good con- 
tract, by which they are to pay their debts, 4: make a 
fortune. One indebted expects relief from every 
change,in public affairs; people in debt are generally \ 
discontented, hence the difficulty of legislating to 1 
their satisfaction, & hence the origin of stop laws * 

I incline to the opinion, that those who consider 
themselves the friends of the administration, will not 
generally vote for the (6) amendment to the constitu- 
tion, to change the mode of electing the president, 
which has been reported to the Senate; besides these 
there are members, who will not vote for a district 
system. It may not be difficult, to induce the first to 
believe, that the plan is now intended particularly 
for the next presidential election, though it has been 
before Congress many years, never twice, I believe ex- 
actly in the same form. 

Will you be so good as to state to me, as soon as 
you can conveniently, such(7) reasons as have occur- 
red to you or were used in the General Assembly, for 
adopting the resolutions claiming pay of the U. S. 
for the Indian reservations in N. Carolina, The U. 
S. were under no obligation to extinguish the Indian 
title within the limits of the state, it was a mere 
gratuity. The U. S. notwithstanding* the decis- 
ion(8) of the court, cannot grant a fee simple estate 
to land in a state, where the U. S. have no right to 
the soil. 

Remember me in the most friendly manner to Mrs. 
Yancey, and all your children, whether I ever see 
them again or not, they will have the good will, es- 
teem & respect of 

Your friend 

Nath'l Macon. 

I cannot now decide, what I may do next summer, 
be assured it would please me to be at your house. 



(l)Captain Otway Burns was a successful privateer in the 
War of 1812, commanding' the Snap Dragon. His prizes 
were brought into the ports of North Carolina. After this 
he was often State Senator and Representative from C^teret 
County. He voted with the West in securing the Convention 
of 1835 and hence the county seat of Yancey was named 
Burnsville in his honor. 

(2)The act excluding from settling in North Carolina free 
negroes from other states was passed in 1826. Emancipation of 
slaves was allowed for meritorious services up to 1830. Then an 
act was passed requiring those emancipated to leave the 
state in ninety days. 

(3)The Creeks in 1825 held a meeting at Tuckebachee and re- 
solved to sell no lands, makingit punishable with death for 
any chief to agree to such cession. At Indian Springs cer- 
tain chiefs, headed by Mcintosh, assumed to sell to the United 
States substantially all the land of the Creeks in the limits of 
Georgia, in consideration of $400,000 and a reservation beyond 
the Mississippi. Monroe approved and the Senate after he went 
out of office confirmed the treaty. The Creeks, then put to death 
three chiefs, who agreed to it, Mcintosh, Tustunugge and Haw- 
kins. When Adams became President he summoned the survi- 
ving chiefs to Washington, and, being satisfied that the Yellow 
Springs treaty was fraudulent, agreed to by only one fif- 
tieth of the Indians, negotiated a new treaty, which was duly 
ratified, by which they ceded a large area but much less than 
in the former one. The President had sent General Gaines 
with troops to Georgia with especial reference to pacifying 
the Indians. Georgia, headed by Governor Troup, was 
furious at the abandonment of the first treaty. Finally in 
1828 another was made which provided for the cession of the 
Creek lands and the transfer of their owners to the Indian 
Territory. The Cherokee Indian question was not finally 
settled until 1835. 


Letter from NathH Macon to Mr. Bartlett Tancey. 

Washington 15 Feb'y 1826 

Your letter of the 7 instant has been re- 
ceived. I wish the reasons you have furnished, may 
be deemed entirely satisfactory to Congress, and that 
the claim by N. C.(l) may be allowed, and that she 
may get the money advanced for the Indian land, I 
however still entertain some doubts, of the kind 
stated in my last. 

The Panama business(2) not yet settled; pensions 
granted with more ease, than heretofore; and a suflB- 
cient desire to speak has been manifested, some alter- 
ation may be made in the court system, and the 
friends of a bankrupt law are in good spirits and 
calculate on passing an act for that purpose. 

I have had the influenza twice since being here 
which tired me, more than ever of being here. In- 
deed I begin to think, my hearing fails me since fas- 
ter than before, & my sight is so injured, that I can- 
not read newspaper print by candle light, and good 
print soon makes them matter and water run out. In 
truth I begin to apprehend that I am getting too old 
for Congress. Let me tell you what I heard the oth- 
er day. A judge of a court(3) of good standing for 
talents and uprightness, when somewhat advanced in 
years, say between 65 and 70, consulted the bar, to as- 
certain whether age had not unfitted him for the office, 
every member gave an opinion that it had not, & 
earnestly requested him to continue on the bench, he 
agreed on this condition, that whenever the time ar- 
rived, and he was unfit they should communicate the 
fact to him, which he would consider the most friend- 
ly act, that could be done; in a few years he became 
unfit, & the bar deputed a few of the oldest and most 
respectable members, to inform him agreeable to his 
request, he heard them not very patiently and imme- 
diately answered they were mistaken, & that he never 
was more fit in his life. — (Suffer me to add that my 
memory is also failing fast.) 

Now on this subject of age. I wish much to see 
you and consult you, it is due to the state, & to my- 
self not to be here aher time may have made her in- 
roads too strong on my faculties; no citizen can owe 


more service to the people & to the Legislature of 
the state than I do, nor could one be more wil- 
ling- to render service, while he was able, my thanks 
and gratitude to both are unl)ounded. 

Present my best respects to Mrs. Yancey 
& all your family & believe me 

Your friend 
Nath'l Macon. 


(l)This has been explained supra, I feel sure the claim 
was not allowed. Mr. Macon evidently did not favor it. 

(2)The Panama Congress was proposed by General Bolivar, 
to establish commercial intercourse, rules of international law, 
and enforce the Monroe doctrine. President Adams and Sec- 
retary of State Clay favored it, but there was fierce opposi- 
tion in Congress. Finally John Sergeant, of Pennsylvania, 
and Richard C. Anderson, of Kentucky, with Wm. B. Roches- 
ter, New York, as Secretary, were sent as commissioners. 
Anderson died on the way. The Congress adjourned to an- 
other meeting before Sergeant reached Panama. Civil war 
in the newly erected republics ensued and no other meeting 
was held. The opposition charged that the President was 
seeking to commit the United States to entangling allian- 

(3)This story is so similar to that of the Archbishop and Gil 
Bias as to suggest the possibility that it was a conscious 
adaptation of the Spanish fiction. 

Letter from Nat VI Macon to M7. Bartlett Tancey, 

Washington 31 March 1826 

No event has lately taken place, which hasgiven 
me so much satisfaction, as you declining to accept the 
mission to Peru, the offer was no doubt intended, for the 
purpose of dividing, and conquering those who sup- 
ported Crawford at the last Presidential election. The 
refusal was what I should have expected, had I have 
known of the offer before I read your letter to Saun- 
ders. I am not informed that any of your friends 
here were consulted about the appointment. As soon 



as I read your letter, I wrote you a line or two, which 
was all that could be for that mail. 

The administration seems to have a pretty strong 
& well fixed majority in both houses of Congress(l), 
and nearly all the newspapers are understood to sup- 
port it; These facts, fully demonstrate the effort and . 
power of patronag-e(2), which I fear it is not possible / 
to diminish, especially as long- as people are in/ 
debt and had rather have a snug place, called of-/ 
fice, to support them than to labor in the field,/ 
or a profession, or even to sell goods. The peopli^ 
are not altogether to blame for this situation, the 
legislatures ought to bear a full share, because they 
tempted them by creating debt offices, denominated 
banks. Eve probably would not have sinned, had 
she not been tempted; & lead us not into temptation, 
is the wisest prayer ever uttered. 

The advertising and publishing the laws by the ad- 
ministration, gives it a monstrous influence with the 
editors of the news papers; they stick to it, like men 
who have failed in business or brought up to a profes- 
sion in which they did not or could not succeed, or 
like those who spend the estate, their parents made 
& gave them, all these stick to it, so fast, that it is 
next to impossible to separate them from it; a place 
& nothing else will satisfy them, they are never re- 
ally denied, but receive words, sufficiently comforta- 
ble to induce them to hope, to praise & to hang on. 

The talents(3) in the Senate are certainly not in 
favor of the administration, yet all its measuiies have 
been approved, not by the form of argument, but 

I have been of late much troubled with a bleeding 
from the nose, & and have been the greater part of 
the session very hoarse. This is mentioned in con- 
nexion with a subject mentioned to you some time 
past. If you was not in the legislature, who would 
fill your useful stand there; it is an important consid- 
eration and deserves much useful reflection. 

The supporters of Adams & Jackson will prob-| 
ably split in every state, those of either party! 
who were mere office hunters, will cling to thei 
one supposed to be strongest; I mention this that you| 
may take it into view when you think of N. C. af- 
fairs ; The present administration will, it is 


thought use the patronage to gain friends, and prob- 
ably that of the General if he should be elected at the 
next election, will be to provide for friends. 

There are three things which produce almost of 
themselves, power begets power, money begets mon- 
ey, & patronage begets patronage, and one of them 
well managed, will generally beget the other two. 

The next presidential contest, will probably be be- 
tween A. and J.— I have often been asked, which 
I should support if only these two were up, I answer- 
ed it was time enough to decide, that unless A. 
changed his measures, I should not support him, and 
that I did not wish to see J. President, and that I did 
not at this. time mean to commit myself to support 
either, but to wait until time made it necessary to de- 

The book of Judges ought to be attentively read 
by every man in the U. S. to see the terrible effect 
on the Israelites for departing from the laws, which 
was their constitution, and so ou^ht the book of Sam- 
uel & Kings, indeed the whole bible contains great 
knowledge of the principles of Grovernment. The 
rising generation forget the principles and max- 
ims of their forefathers, hence the destruction of free 
governments in every age, of what benefit was the 
law to the children of Israel when they departed from 
it, or what benefit is written constitutions if they be 
departed from; the wise maxims they may contain are 
useless, perhaps worse than useless, if not adhered to 
because honest people abide by them, and others do 

It is very probable, that that my letters now may 
contain nothing new, having so often written you on 
public affairs; but they afford me an opportunity of 
expressing, my earnest desire to be remembered to 
your kind family in the most friendly terms, and to 
assure you that I am 

Your friend 
Nath'l Macon. 


(l)Tucker, in his excellent history of the United States, 
says, "His (Adams') administration was, from the beginning 
to the end, assailed by the most numerous and the strongest 
opposition that any administration had experienced. A ma- 


jority of the House of Representatives and almost one half of 
the Senate, were its open uncompromising opponents." Again, 
/'when Mr. Adams went into office, he was supported by a 
large minority of the nation; and after wielding the power 
and patronage of the Executive for four years with an able cab- 
inet to support and advise him, that minority was diminished 
instead of being increased," So it appears that Mr. Macon 
was mistaken. Some statesmen are of opinion that the gain- 
ing of one friend by an office alienates numbers, who are dis- 

(2) In regard to Adams, Tucker says, "In public appoint- 
ments the qualifications of the functionary were scrupulously 
looked into. No administration could have acted with more 
purity and uprightness." 

The prediction of Mr. Macon about Jackson's policy was 
abundantly verified. His wholesale removals were defended 
on the ground that he believed the officials had used their in- 
fluence against him. In his opinion no one could be anti- 
Jackson and honest. * 

(3)There were, among other able men, William R. King, of 
Alabama, afterwards Vice President, Thomas Clayton, of 
Dalaware, John M. Berrien of Georgia, Richard M. Johnson 
of Kentucky, afterwards Vice President, Thomas H. Benton 
of Missouri, Levi Woodbury of New Hampshire, Mahlon 
Dickerson of New Jersey, Martin Van Bur^n of New York, 
afterwards President, John Branch and Nathaniel Macon of 
North Carolina, Wm. Henry Harrison of Ohio, afterwards 
President, Robert Y. Hayne of South Carolina, John H. Ea- 
ton and Hugh L. White of Tennessee, John Randolph and 
Littleton Waller Tazewell, of Virginia. Daniel Webster was 
then in the House, entered the Senate in 1827. John C. Cal- 
houn was Vice President. 

Letter from NatKl Macon to Mr. Bartlett Tancey. 

Washington 16 Ap,il 1826. 

Yesterday I received your letter of the 6-in- 
stant;I have before written you, my opinion of your 


not accepting the offer to g-o to Peru, you acted as a 
Carolinian ought to have done; I was not pleased that 
the late Governor Miller(l), applied for the place to 
Guatimala, and consented to take so low a grade, 
though no one generally cares about the baubles of 
grade & ettiquette than I do; yet whenever substance 
IS attached to them, nothing should be yielded; after 
being so long overlooked or forgot, a Carolinian 
should not take inferior stations in the federal gov- 
ernment, though I am satisfied there was from the 
state, more than 20 ap^icants for the place, which 
Col. John Williams of Tennessee now fills, and the 
place would have been quite enough for some of them, 
indeed it might have suited some of them, as well or 
better than they would have filled it. 

The administration might have got along probably 
tolerable well, had it been contented to have travelled 
a plain and known road. But the Panama trip(3), 
& the visit to the sky, & the attempt to make the 
constitutional way as wide as the world, has and 
will embarrass it; The men in it are not equal to the 
task of doing these things, Adams is learned and 
Clay has* genius, but prudence and discretion are 
wanted, they never go on smoothly, & every trial to 
mend, is apt to make worse, until new hands are 
employed, who are contented with doing well, & will 
not give up well, to look for better. 

I It seems me, that the two parties now contend- 
ing for power have the same political principles. The 
contest IS whether A. or J. (4) shall be the next pres- 
ident. A. has made a bad beginning; unless he al- 
ters for the better, he will not I think get many 
votes to the south; though I mean not to decide 
between them, until it is time to think of voting. 
Congress agreed yesterday to adjourn on the 22 
of next month. 

Yov want a letter in detail, in truth I know of 
no detail to be given here, which is not in every 
newspaper, so that I cannot give it, you must ap- 
ply to Saunders or Mangum(5) for it. I never go 
out, and of course hear none of the tales which may 
be circulated, among or by those who practice shy- 
Tender to Mrs. Yancey the best respects of 

Your friend, Nathl. Macon. 


(l)William Miller, Warren county, student of the Univer- 
sity of North Carolina, 1802. Attorney General of North 
Carolina, 1810. Speaker of the House of Commons 1812-1813. 
Governor 1814-1816, Charg^ d'AfFaires to Guatemala 1825. 
Died 1825. 

(2) John Williams of Tennessee, brother of Lewis Williams 
(the father of the House). Lawyer. Colonel of a regiment 
of Kentucky cavaly in the war of 1812, afterwards of the 34th 
U. S. Infantry. U. S. Senator 1815-'23. Charge d' Affaires 
to Central America 182S-'26. Refused seat on the Supreme 
Court of Tennessee. Died 1827. Bom in Surry county, 
North Carolina, 

(3)Adams claimed the right to send delegates to the Con- 
gress at Panama, with the advice and consent of the Sen- 
ate. The opposition contended that it was inexpe- 
dient. The "visit to the sky" refers to the metaphor in 
the President's message which compares astronomical obser- 
vatories to light houses of the sky, as was heretofore stated. 
We must assume that Mr. Macon was thinking of the want of 
constitutional power to establish a national observatory, and 
that he was not joining in the usual sarcasm against the ut- 
terance as a false and extravagant figure of speech. 

(4) There was much speculation as to whether Jackson fa- 
vored a protective tariflF and internal improvements by the 
general government. The Senate of Indiana asked him the ^ 
question. He referred to a letter written four years before to 
Dr. L. H. Coleman, of North Carolina. This letter dodged 
the question, said he was in favor of a "judicious tariff." 
Mr. Macon was not satisfied with his position. 

(5) Willie Person Mangum, then Representative. The first 
name is pronounced Wi-ly. 

Letter from NatKl Macon to Mr. Barthtt Tancey. 

Washington 24th DecV 1826. 
Yesterday I received your letter of the 14 in- 
stant; no(l) two mesBages can be more unlike, as you 


justly observe, than those of the present President, 
and both are much praised, but praise seems to be the 
order of the day, and like that on the State of the 
Union is the order for every day; The disposition to 
praise those in power, whether deserved or not, grows 
out of the paper(2) system which has been adopted 
by the States and the United States; The banks of 
the U. S. depend on the federal g-overnment for the 
circulation of its notes; and the banks of the several 
States depend in a gfreat measure on the bank of the 
U. S. for a general circulation of theirs, for example 
the paper of a state bank, which the U. S. bank will 
take will be received bj the government of the U. S. 
Most if not all our evils originate in the paper sys- 
tems, and so does those of the tmfortunate and hard 
working people of Great Britain, they feel now, what 
the people must feel, wherever the paper system is 
much extended. 

I most perfectly agree with you, about the last ad- 
ministration, to repeat your sentiments would be use- 
less to you. I will however say or rather state it as 
my opinion that Mr. Crawford done more, to place 
Monroe in the presidential chair, than any other man; 
in his elevation all the late aspirants for the presi- 
dency, and those who now look for it hereafter agreed. 

To a man indebted, a snug place is a good and con- 
venient situation, and in proportion as the people are 
in debt, so is the application for office, and the influ- 
ence of the executive is increased by every application. 

The death of Jefferson and Adams on the same day, 
will no doubt assist the present chief at the next elec- 
tion; his friends and those of his opponent are already 
very busy, and both parties claim to be sure of suc- 

(3)Strike while the iron is hot, was never more com- 
pletely verified than in the trade to the British West 
Indies; it was in our power, by passing a law to meet 
the act of Parliament, but it was preferred to have 
it by treaty; The law was not passed, and negotia- 
tions failed. 

A great effort(4) will be made for the U. States 
Government to pay for French spoliations; if it suc- 
ceed, it will add the amount to the public debt. The 
desire to pay that debt is daily diminishing, notwith- 
standing the condition of England, 


The woolleii(S) manufacturers have had a great 
meeting, at which it was determined to petition Con- 
gress for more encouragement. The growers of wool 
united with them. The burthens of the Government 
have and will continue to fall most heavy on the cul- 
tivators of cotton and tobacco; it is probable that in 
deciding whether more encouragement shall be given, 
the effect it may have on presidential election may be 
considered by the friends of the men in power, but on 
this point, many on both sides agree as to the encour- 

If the revenue(6) should fall short of the estimate 
for 1827, new taxes will hardly be attempted but prob- 
ably a resort to, loans will be had, which no doubt 
will add to the value of the U. S. B. stock. 

Crawford's(7) health is not good, I incline to think, 
that those of his friends who see him most often, 
doubt whether he will ever perfectly recover. Calhoun 
is well, and I expect very busy, but I know nothing 
of his movements or intentions except, that he is very 
hostile to the administration which I believe attack- 
ed him, or rather the news papers, which support it 
did, before those which support him, attacked the ad- 
ministration; I however do not often see the papers on 
either side, though I tmderstand they are warm 

My crop was not more than a third of an averag-e 
one; most of my neighbors are not better off, on the 
low ground they were pretty good, 

(8)The friends of the bankrupt bill seem to be verv 
certain of its becoming law this Session; if it should, 
it will add to the patronage of the executive, a bank- 
rupt law in operation systematizes cheating and per- 
jury, and often produces law suits in Equity that are 
almost endless. 

Your friend, 

Nath'l Macon. 


(l)President Adams grew stronger and stronger in favor of 
internal improvements by the federal government, and of 
protective tariffs. His followers and those of Clay united and 
took the name of National Republicans, afterwards changed to 


(2) By the * 'paper system" is meant the issue of bank notes. 
It was usual to ascribe the crisis of 1819 and that of 1825 to 
the abuses of banking*. Besides the Uniteji» States bank with 
its 18 branches, there were, in addition to t^^ose^in other 
States, 23 banks in Virg^inia, North and South Carolina and 
Georg-ia in 1815. In 1818 there were 43 in Kentucky, 10 in 
Tennessee, 8 in Ohio. Notes were issued without limit, On 
April 1st, 1819, the United States Bank had $6,000,000 notes 
out and only $126,745 specie in the vaults and $514,000 in 
transitu. Counting the latter the notes werp about ten times 
the specie, whereas safety requires not mAre than three times. , 
The note circulation of the whole country was in 1812 about 
$45,000,000; in 1817, $100,000,000; in '19 $45,000,000. The great 
contraction from 1817 to 1819 was due to the banks curtail- 
ing discounts to save themselves. Thousands were ruined by 
the process. Mr. Macon's hostility seems justified as the man- 
agement then was. 

(3)Great Britain claimed a monopoly of thje commerce of 
her colonies. The United States clainJed mutual reciprocity^. 
After the war of 1812 all direct trade in American vessels to 
the British West Indies was prohibited. This was modified 
to a considerable extent. Much correspondence between the 
two countries, and also retaliatory legislation, was had. Fin- 
ally it was proposed in Congress that the United States pass 
an interdict on British vessels, but with the proviso that if 
Great Britian recede from the restrictive policy, this country 
would do the same. Owing to petty differences between the 
Senate and the House the bill failed, possibly by the desire of 
Jackson and Crawford men to embarrass the Administration. 

(4)There was much spoliation of American commerce by 
the French prior to 1800, calculated to amount to $8,000,000. 
A select committee reported that the claims against France 
had been surrendered by the convention of 1800 with Napol- 
eon and hence the United States was bound to pay them. A 
bill for relief of the claimants was vetoed by Polk in 1846, 
and by Pierce in 1855. In 1885 they were referred to the 
Court of Claims. 


(S)Iii 1827 a high tariff bill, called the ''Woolen Bill," en- 
g'ineered by Clay, passed the House but was defeated in the 
Senate by the casting vote of Vice-President Calhoun. A con- 
vention of protectionists was called at Harrisburg in that 
year, which recommended high protective duties. In 1828 
the bill passed, increasing duties so largely that Southern 
statesmen denounced it as "legalized robbery," "the tariff of 

(6)In his message in 1828 the President reported that the 
revenue had exceeded the most sanguine expectations. 

(7)In 1827 Crawford returned to Georgia, accepted the posi- 
tion of judge of the Northern Circuit, and died in 1834. 

(8) This Bankrupt bill failed. One was passed in 1841 and 
repealed in 1843. 

Letter from Nath. Macon to Mr. Bartlett Tancey. 

(l)Buck Spring 3 Novr 1827. 


* I have received your friendly letter of the 13 
ultimo & will endeavor to answer the questions there- 
in propounded in the order stated. I was taken sick 
on the 12 of May, & had not a well day, till about 
the first of August, much reduced and very weak, 
since which I have been gaining flesh & strength very 
slow and am now, though weak, as well as one of my 
age ought to expect to be. It was not in my power 
to attend the commencement (2) at Chapel Hill. I 
was too unwell to attempt it, and so informed the 
Governor, the University has my best wishes for its 
success and prosperity. 

I am truly glad, that Mr. Crawford's health & 
writing continue to improve, & most earnestly hope 
that the day is not far distant, when both shall be 
perfectly restored, together with his speech, & that 
he may be again, what he has been, & be returned to 
the federal councils, but he ought be perfectly re- 
stored, before he goes into them, or he will risk much 
by going. 

The national intelligencer (3) has entirely changed 
its character. The cause not known by me, unless it 
be the senate not electing the editor its printer, com- 



pare it now, to what it was, when it supported Mr. 
Crawford, & the early p€a"iod at which it came out 
for Adams, & the late one for Crawford; perhaps the 
difference in character and time, may be owing to 
those supported. The Register(3) follows the Intel- 
ligencer, as truly as the big wheel of a wagon follows 
the little one; neither the Intelligencer nor the Regis- 
ter are calculated for the interest of North Carolina, 
though they may suit Washington city, & the admin- 

The politics of those people, called Republicans, 
be^n to change under Madison. The bank of the 
United States, proves the fact, & that ought to be 
considered the beginning of what is termed the almal- 
gamation of parties. The Tariff of 1816 & the bill 
to appropriate the bonus for the bank for internal 
improvements completed it, you cannot have forgot, 
the many(4) mess disputes & conversations, on these 
. subjects & that it was often said and often repeated, 
that if the constitution could be stretched to cover 
them, it would soon be extended to Africa. 

The late administration went far towards estab- 
lishing the construction & to extend the executive 
power. The attempt(5) to pledge the U. S. to the 
Spanish Americans, was a strong measure, & of a 
prerogative nature, & might have been the case, on 
which Adams bottomed his claim for power to send 
Ministers to Panama without a nomination to the 
the Senate. 

The U. S. Government must be gaining or loosing 
character very fast, when the candidates for the 
presidency, for so they may be properly called, are 
electioneering for the oflSce, & the great executive 
officers making speeches every chance, to ensure if 
possible the election of their favorite, add to this, 
Governors and Judges of the states, forgetting their 
stations, turn clcctioneerers probably a word not to be 
found in a dictionary. 

Let the executive patronage be increased and every 
president will appoint his successor, perhaps some 
may have already done it, increase it and it will be 
settled. Monroe (6) probably appointed Adams Sec- 
retary of state, because he had been of all parties, 
was a New England man, & was the oldest minister 
to foreign courts. 


The administration will make great* exertions for 
the next election, especially in Pennsylvania & Vir- 
ginia, the late election in Kentucky, will no doubt in- 
crease its industry. 

The bank of the U. S. and internal improvement 
have changed the constitution or rather made a new 
one continuing the old form. I mean the laws passed 
on these subjects — ^Neither Adams nor Jackson would 
be my choice for the next president, but of the two I 
gfreatly prefer Jacksoa, because he cannot I think do 
worse for us(7), nor select his secretaries, for the same 
reason, that Adams selected his, according to com- 
mon report. 

The Bank was the foundation of the TariflF of 1816, 
because if trade declined, the 35,000,000 capital could 
not be safely employed in it, so it was of the internal 
improvement plan. Let the U. S. Government be 
concerned in improvements, & the banks will supply 
not money, but its notes — to any amount, by loan to 
the U, S,— 

Who is wise enough, to manage well and honestly 
the concerns of a people, who are much in debt, the 
federal & the state governments, have set up two 
gaming shops, and the people have gambled and lost, 
but the Governments have not won much, these shops 
are the banks & lotteries, to which might be added 
the funding systems, because there is a vast deal of 
gaming, in the funds as well as in bank stock & dis- 
counts — whatever enables the cunning, to live on 
the labor of others, is an evil, I cannot come to see 
you & your family this year; my going to Washing- 
ton will depend on the state of my health; God bless 
you & all that are near or dear to you — is the sincere 
wish of 

Nathl. Macon. 


(l)Buck Spring was the name of Mr. Macon's plantation, 
about 2,000 acres. It is now cut up into small holdings. Mr. 
Macon's dwelling is occupied by negroes. After giving two- 
thirds of his property to his daughters, be died worth about 

(2)Mr. Macon was from 1826 to 1828 a Trustee of the Univer- 


sity of North Carolina. Finding that he could not attend to 
his duties as such, he resigned. The Commencement of 1827, 
held on the first Monday in June, was very notable as being 
t^e occasion of the delivery by ex-Judge Archibald Debow 
Murphey, who had been Professor of Languages in the insti- 
tution and a pioneer in the advocacy of the State Public School 
3ystem, of the first of the annual literary orations by invita- 
tion of the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies. This ora- 
tion is a valuable contribution to State history. Judge Mur- 
phey was a Trustee of the University from 1802 to his death in 

(3)The National Intelligencer, a tri-weekly, was established 
in Washington in 1800 as a Jeffersonian organ by Samuel H. 
Smith. In 1810 Joseph Gales, Jr., son of Joseph Gales, of the 
Raleigh (North Carolina) Register, became one of the editors. 
In 1812 he was joined by William W. Seaton, the son-in-law 
of the latter. The journal supported the Republican party, 
but in the new division of parties became first National Re- 
ptd)lican and then Whig. It had g^reat influence. 
. (4)By *'mess disputes", etc., I think Mr, Macon means those 
at dinners and other social occasions. 

(S)Mr. Macon means the * 'Monroe doctrine." Many con- 
tended that it was "not within the legitimate powers of the 
Executive to speak in behalf of a policy which might lead to 
war, which Congress alone had the power of declaring." But 
the nation approved it. 

(6)John Quincy Adams was a Federalist until he left that 
party because he favored Jefferson's Embargo. He then acted 
with the Republicans. 

(7)Adams appointed Henry Clay Secretary of State, his ene- 
mies charging that this was in pursuance of a corrupt bargain 
by which Clay's friends supported Adams iu the House of 
Representatives, He also appointed Richard Rush, of Penn- 
sylvania, Secretary of the Treasury, and James Barbour, of 
Virginia, Secretary of War. It was charged that these ap- 
pointments were made in order to get the favor of those two 
great States. He retained Samuel L. Southard, of New Jer- 


sey, as Secretary of the Navy, and William Wirt, of Virginia, 
afterwards of Maryland, as Attorney General. The Post- 
master General was not a member of the Cabinet until 1829. 
John McLean, of Ohio, was retained in that post. There was 
no Secretary of the Interior until 1849, nor of Ag^riculture 
until 1889. 

Letter from Nathaniel Macon to Mr. Bartlett Tancey, 

Washington 30 Deer 1827 

Yesterday your letter of the 24 instant was re- 
ceived: No information from Europe has reached 
this place, which will enable me to answer the ques- 
tion you therein propose, in a satisfactory manner. 
The destruction of the Turkish fleet(l) by the allies, 
has not that I have heard produced a single specula- 
tion in our produce & the merchants are generally 
well informed, in whatever may tend to promote their 
interests(2). if the war between the allies & Turks 
should last a few years, it may possibly raise the 
price of some articles, that we grow for exportation, 
most likely that of wheat, because the Turk might 
for a while, prevent its exportation from the black 

The Turk at war with the allies, would not have 
a navy to cruise on the sea, of course the war could 
not raise the price of freight on insurance(3); The war 
between the Kussians and Persians is not felt in the 
United States nor is it expected, that, that between 
the allies & the Turk would be felt much more; if 
any of the christian powers should support the Turk, 
it might have then some eflfect on our productions 
but without this, it cannot I think, be much felt in 
the U. S. 

On my arrival here, I heard much from both the 
presidential parties about a short session (4), but the 
doings of neither do not seem to promise one; The 
friends of Jackson appear quite certain of his election 
and the friends of Adams say that they are not with- 
out hopes, that he will be again elected; The passing 
of a new Tariff act may in some measure probably 
depend on the eflfect, which the warm friends of the 


two candidates for the presidency, may expect it will 
have on the election. Judg'ing from the opinions of 
the state Legislature as declared in the newspapers, 
Jackson has now the best prospect for being* elected, 
but it is not an easy task to beat patronage, that in 
all countries is power, & will in all countries be used 
to retain power, it is the smoothest way of employing* 
public money, to promote the views of those who use 
it. He that uses it and he that receives it, both de- 
clare it done to promote the general interest, 

Yr. friend 

Nath'l Macon. 
P. S. 

Just as I had finished the letter, a Gentleman called 
on me, & said, that he was informed that Mr. Clay 
had written a pamphlet(5), & that it was this day 
sent by mail in all directions, I give it to you as I re- 
ceived it; I may add, that a report has been in circu- 
lation for a few days past, that he was writing a 
pamphlet, to justify his conduct about the election of 

N. M. 


(l)In Navarino Bay, October 20, 1827. 

(2)The English and French, after the Turkish commander, 
Ibrahim, evacuated Morea, did not continue hostilities. Rus- 
sian troops crossed the Balkans, and in 1829 forced Turkey to 
agfree to the Peace of Adrianople, by whicn that nation rec- 
ognized the future action of the "London Conference" which 
announced in 1830 the Independence of Greece. 

(3)This war was of short continuance. It ended by the 
capture of Erivan by the Russians in 1827. 

(4)The session ended May 28, 1828. 

(S)Mr. Clay's pamphlet was published in the summer of 
1827. It contained the testimony in his favor of nearly all of 
the Ohio delegation and most of those of Kentucky, of Gen. 
LaPayette, of two friends of Jackson, Crittenden and Benton, 
and others. The three named stated that he declared before- 
hand that if the contest should lie between Adams and Jack- 
son he would vote for Adams. 


Letter from NatKl Macon to Mr. Bartlett tancey. 

Washingrton 16 Feby 1828. 

My health is now tolerable good, but not what it 
formerly was a few jears past; unless it should im- 
prove before next winter, I incline to think, that it 
would be imprudent to attempt to attend another ses- 
sion of Congress, to be here and not able to discharge 
the trust reposed in me, in a w,ay satisfactory to my- 
self, would be disagreeable and unpleasant and not 
treating the people or the Legislature with the kind- 
ness, which both have treated me. theirs(l) to me has 
far surpassed any merit, that I could pretend to pos- 
sess, it has rarely been equalled by any state in the 
union, & demands of me to serve as long as I am able, 
to continue longer would be an ungrateful return for 
their confidence. 

The whole plan of legislation here seems to be to 
pass claims not authorized by law & to pass acts(2) 
the operation of which is nothing more or less, than 
to give the profits of the labor of one part of the 
union to other parts, hence the poverty of the one and 
the wealth of the others, & this unequal and unjust 
state of things, will continue as long as this sort of 
legislation continues; The taxes may be perfectly 
e()ual according to law, and become unjust & oppres- 
sive by the expenditure, where they are spent riches 
will abound, & where they are not spent, poverty will 
be seen. You cannot have forgot, the many disputes 
on this subject, when you was here, about the time, 
that it was a fashionable & favorite expression to 
conquer(3) Space, forgetting that great conquest, 
generally produced poverty, & a greater than this 
was never thought of before or since; The power of 
science was omnipotent, it could do everything, & it ^ 
was reserved for the U. S. to have the glor^ of doing 
the one and proving the other. About this time or 
not long after Redheffer(4) & his perpetual motion 
appeared, mill seats and steam engines would be use- 
less, nay one was anxious to sell a valuable mill be- 
cause Redheflfer's invention, would render it useless. 
The ^nd of these sort of notions, are ruin; science to 
be useful, must be used by common sense, which is 
always practical. 


The constitution of the U. S. I have long consid- 
ered dead, & gone; and the present scuffle for the 
presidency I consider rather a scuffle for men than 
principle; but this ought not to prevent trying to get 
one that we prefer, hence I go for Jackson. 

Remember me in the most friendly manner to Mrs. 
Yancey & your children & believe me to be 
Your old and constant friend 

Nath'l. Macon. 


(l)The favor of the people was shown by giving him five 
terms in the State Senate by annual elections, beginning with 
1780, but not including 1783-'4, by making him a Representa- 
tive in Congfress, 1791-1815, generally without opposition; 
Senator 1815-'28, when he resigned, being thirty-seven years 
of continuous service in Cong^ress. He was Speaker of the 
House of Representatives of the United States 1801-'06, and 
President pro tempore of the Senate in 1825, 1826 and 1827. 
He was afterwards President of the Constitutional Conven- 
tion of North Carolina in 1835 and presided over the College 
of Electors of the Van Buren and Johnson ticket in 1837. 
These facts are given by Mr. Wilson, but repeated for conve- 
nience of reference. 

Mr. Macon's brother John was also a highlv esteemed pub- 
lic servant. He was State Senator six terms and member of 
the lower House six terms. He was one of the charter Trus- 
tees of the State University and one of the Commissioners to 
build the first Capitol, then called State-house. 

Letter from NathH Macon to Mr. Bartlett Tancey. 

Washington 18 Feb'y 1828. 

Permit me to submit to you, the following 
facts and observations, did I expect to see you in any 
short time, or was I certain of ever doing it again, 
I would not plagtie you to read them. 

The Southern country begins on the south bank of 
James River, The eastsm parts of the states, south 
of that river, are flat, level, low, unhealthy, & and 


full of swamps, The swamps and the low g^rounds of 
the rivers rich, the first requires g^reat expense, to 
g-et them in order for cultivation. The other subiect 
to freshets, both until cleared have a variety of valua- 
ble timber, no natural waterfall in the country above 

The mountain rivers South of the James, have no 
good inlet or outlet to or from the sea, all turn nar- 
row below the falls, and are sickly at the falls, and 
below them to their mouths, from the falls to their 
mouths or near them, only boat navigation, and that 
not at all seasons of the year, the low grounds are 
like swamps. 

The tide does not flow far up them, nor near to the 
falls. The country except the swamps & river land 
too poor to contain a dense population, and too sickly 
for large establishments of any kind; mechanics who 
depend on their labor find that the loss of time & 
the doctors bills prevents their staying there & 
gaining property, hence a scarcity of them in most oif 
the towns south of the James river. 

The Appomattox & to north of it, the mountain 
riversare navigable to the falls or very near them for 
sea vessels, the tide in them flows to the falls, proba- 
bly in every one of them & at the falls are vastly 
more healthy than the same situations on the South- 
em rivers. 

These are offered for your consideration as far as 
they may touch, establishing lar^e manufacturing 
houses in the two parts of the Union, in examining 
the subject you will doubtless consider every advan- 
tage & disadvantage, attending both parts of the 
country, as well as every risk which must attend 

This question must present itself, is it probable 
that a country, far removed from navip^ation, with 
no particular advantage, can compete with with one 
convenient to navigation, with only equal advan- 
tages; The profit of good land in the two placest is 
proportion to its distance from market, people some- 
times suppose, that what is beneficial to one place, 
may be to all, hence improper plans are attempted, 
by applying what suits one country, to another not 
suited to them, Irish potatoes makes a tolerable and 
only tolerable food in one country, and very bad in 


another, so with the sweet potatoes, no country pro- 
duces everything", which civilized man covets nor are 
all countries, nor are all situations in the same coun- 
try, calculated for the same employment. The mills 
at a distance from the market towns for manufactur- 
ing flour, have not been able to compete with those 
at such towns, for exportation, above the flat country, 
and some part of that, the States produce as good 
wheat as any in the union but the weavel and other 
insects, render it an unfavorable crop; The rich low 
gfrounds below the falls of the rivers, are rich enough 
for tobacco, but experience, has convinced all those 
who have tried it, that it does not suit the land. 

General Harrison(l) told me, that he had sent a 
parcel of the best merino sheep wool to Boston, and 
that he only got 25 cents a pound for it. 

The Southern country is nearly ruined; they must 
save themselves, by not buying, what is not obliged 
to be bought, do as they did in the war of the revo- 

No long leaf pine North of the James River 
nor live oak north of new point comfort, the long leaf 
pine and live oak, are the boundaries of the South. 

I ought to have stated that the river hills on James 
on the south side are higher than on the north, for 
some distance below the falls, but it is the country 
generally I have been speaking about, I therefore 
consider Petersburg the last &)Uthern place, where 
large manufacturing establishments can be ever prof- 
itable; Everything in the U. S. goes on at first with 
a sort of rage; remember the marino Bone fever, (2) 
the town making fever, &c., &c. 

This letter is only intended for yourself. South of 
Petersburg, small and neighborhood manufactories 
may be established, if the Tariff System be continued 
and may be profitable for neighborhood eonsuraption, 
but not for exportation. 

Steam engines may be used anywhere, for manu- 
facturing, but the country ought to be healthy, The 
streams for manufacturing ought to aflford a plenty of 
water for all seasons of the year, even for the driest 

The paper sy^iems^ operates injuriously to all the 
Southern country. The facts connected with this 
have been stated in a former letter, perhaps the 


southern country, mig-ht be extended to Rappahan- 
nock river, below the falls at Fredericksburg, for be- 
low them, it is much like it, sandy & generally level 
and not very heal hy, but more so, than that south of 

It may be added, that the country south of James 
River and its waters, cannot be a navigating one, 
want of inlets deep enough for large vessels, the dan- 
ger of the coast and want of people to make mechan- 
ics and sailors, and ^ts being sickly will prevent it, 
the towns in that part of the union near the sea, have 
not grown much since the adoption of the federal con- 
stitution, this fact may be ascertained by the census^ 
& it may be doubted whether in them, bears the same 
proportion to the towns in other parts, it then did; 
new towns like Savannah may g^row for a season; 
they are places of deposits and exchange. 

After reading this(4), burn it. 

To Mrs. Yancey & your family offer my regard and 

Yr friend 

Nath'i, Macon. 


(l)General William Henry Harrison, afterwards President 
of the United States. He was Grovemor of the Indian Terri- 
tory 1801-13; Representative in Congress 1816-'19; Senator 
182S'-28; Minister to Columbia 1828-'29. He lived on his 
farm at North Bend, Ohio, sixteen miles below Cincinnati. 
As Major General of volunteers he gained the battle of Tip- 
pecanoe in 1811 and that of Thames in 1813. He was defeat- 
ed for the Presidency in 1836 but elected in 1840 by a vote of 
234 to 60 in the electoral college. 

(2)By the expression **merino bone," I think Mr. Macon in- 
tends to ridicule the admirers of Merino sheep, who claimed 
that their footl made bones and wool instead of fat. 

(3)By paper system he means bank notes, as heretofore ex- 
plained. Benton acquired the nickname of **01d Bullion" by 
similar hostility to paper. 

(4)Mr. Yancey lived in the interior, and, as there was little 
communication between east and west, Mr. * Macon naturally 


thought that his attention had not been called fully to the 
geographical differences mentioned in the letter. It is not at 
all to his discredit that in 1828 the latter could not foresee 
the changes in the commercial and manufacturing world caused 
by the steel road and the locomotive engine. Although he 
requested Mr. Yancey to burn the letter, I do not hesitate to 
publish it because, firstly, Mr. Yancey thought best not to 
comply with the request but placed it in the package with 
the others; and secondly, the publication cannot possibly im- 
pair the reputation of Mr. Macon or any one else. 

The following letter was received too late for publication 
in chronological order. The original is owned by Mrs. Baxter 
H. Moore, g^rand-daughter of Major Smith and was copied by 
Bishop Joseph B, Cheshire: 

Letter from Nathaniel Macon to Major Wm. Smithy 
U. S. Senator from South Carolina. 

Buck Spring, 22 June 1800 

During the last session of Congress I enclos- 
ed you Cooper's Essays(l) and the proceedings of the 
Virginia Assembly(2) in defence of their former res- 
olutions on the Sedition Law, &c., although I have 
not heard whether they did and that you were pleas- 
ed with both. 

At present with us, the attention of every one is 
turned to the election of electors(3) and this part of 
the State is very decided in favor of Mr. Jefferson 
for President and Col. Burr for Vice President. If 
South Carolina votes Republicans they will I think 
certainly be elected. Much in the next Presidential 
election depend on the two Carolinas, and it appears 
to me next to impossible that the citizens of either 
State should err in their choice, if they can but 
see the arguments and reasons on both sides of the 
questions, which have divided the parties in the U. S. 
Whether every part of North Carolina has had this 
information is not certain, however, I hope and ex- 
pect that at least two-thirds has, and that the votes 


for Pre9ident(3) will be at least two for one. My anx- 
iety to hear how the vote in South Carolina is likely 
to be has induced me to ask your opinion of it, and to 
request you to favor me with it by post. 

If the Republicans in every part of N. C. make prop- 
er exertions at the elections, and not stay at home in- 
stead of voting-, it is not improbable but the vote of 
State will be the same as at the last election, except 
that your Gen'l Chas C. Pinckney(4) will not get 
more votes than Mr. Adams. If S. C. shall vote for 
the Republicans, eight votes from us will be suffi- 
cient according to most calculations to insure their 
elections and of that number I believe there is no 

I am with perfect respect and esteem, sir 
Y'r most ob't Servt. 

Nath'l Macon. 

N. B. Direct to me at Warrenton, it is the nearest 
post town. 

N. M. 

(l)Essays on Political Subjects, published in book form in 
1800, having previously appeared in a Philadelphia paper, 
by Dr. Thomas Cooper. Cooper was a man of varied fortunes 
and learning in many directions. He left England on ac- 
count of an attack on the Ministry, and in this country was at 
various times a physician, a lawyer, judge in Pennsylvania, 
professor of chemistry in Dickenson College, the University 
of Pennsylvania, and of chemistry and political economy in 
South Carolina College in Columbia, then was President of 
that college. He was the author among other works, of a 
treatise on Political Economy, and was one of the codifiers of 
the laws of South Carolina. He was prosecuted under the 
Sedition Law for a libel on President Adams and was sen- 
tenced to imprisonment for six months and a fine of $400, 
In religion he was a free thinker. 

(2)The Resolutions of 1798 againt the Alien and Sedition 
Laws were sent to the several States and their concxurence 
asked. Indiana, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, 
Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont answeredi 


strong-ly opposing them as advocatingf nullification. North 
Carolina declined to take action. In 1800 Virginia declared 
that the Resolutions of 1798 were intended only to unite the 
States in procuring a repeal of the unconstitutional acts of 

(3)JefFerson and Burr received 73 electoral votes each, Ad- 
ams 65, C, C. Pinckney 64, and Jay 1. JeflFerson was elected 
in the House after a struggle. North Carolina gave him 8 
electoral votes out of 13 and supported Jefferson in the House. 
The State then voted by districts. 

(4) Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Major in the Revolution- 
ary War; member of the Constitutional Convention of 1787; 
Minister to France, 1796, but the Directory refused to receive 
him; Major General for the expected French war; Federalist 
candidate for Vice President, 1800, and for President in 1804 
and 1808. 

L€Uer{X)pom W. P. Mangutn to Mr. Bartlett Tancey. 

Washington ISth January 1826. 
My dear Sir: 

Your favor written while you were at Raleigh has 
been long since received; and I should have acknowl- 
edged it before this, but that I had hoped something 
would have presented that might be of some interest. 
The session thus far has gone on smoothly with very 
slight exceptions; and nothing has occurred upon 
which the strength of parties has been arrayed so that 
the strength of any might be distinctly known. 

The Creek treaty(2) seemed to excite most interest 
upon the meeting of Congress — but the final develop- 
ments have been unaccountably delayed; and the 
public interest on that subject seems at this moment 
to have subsided. — It is believed that the administra- 
tion are unwilling to drive that subject to extremity, 
if it can be consistently avoided. — The Hostiles as 
they are called and the Mcintosh party are each rep- 
resented at Washington by a delegation of 15 or more 
of either side, — Before Christmas the administration 
proposed to the Geo. delegation an extinguishment 
of tie indian title by a new treaty to a river in the 


nation the name of which I don't remember, leaving 
to the Indians perhaps one- fourth of the whole of the 
lands they now possess. — The Geo. delegation de- 
clined the offer, upon the ground that they were in- 
vested with no authority to make any compromise; 
and upon the additional ground that the former 
treaty, as they insisted, was good and obligatory. 
The delegation were then notified that the President 
would send a message to Cong^ress on the subject in 
the first week in January.r— This however has not 
been done — nor are the members at Dawson's, Cobb(3) 
and Mert"iweather, able to account for the delay, ex- 
cept upon the supposition that they are endeavoring 
to negotiate a new treaty, so as to avoid the ex- 
citement anticipated upon the discussion. — 

Some of the Georgians(4) — Tatnall, for instance — is 
prepared and I believe determined to drive to extrem- 
ities any affair of honor that could be got up on the 
occasion. — During the last week we have been dis- 
cussing(5) a bill of proposing to add three new Judges 
to the present Supreme Court, and the whole weight 
of administration is thrown into the scale in favor of 
the Bill — Though for 6 or 8 years the bill of a simi- 
lar character, though not going to the extent of this, 
has had no prospect of success — But now by the aid 
of the eastern people I doubt not but it will pass by a 
large majority. 

That subject is the only one that has called up any 
disagfreeable retrospections — and I have been the 
unfortunate wight first to broach those subjects. 

I felt so indignant at the miserably corrupted policy 
as I believe it of the Yankee nation that I could not 
refrain from giving them a touch — I expect to be 
scaled — but I will come out of it as well as I can. — 
Sir, This administration I verily believe will be con- 
ducted upon as corrupt principles, indeed more cor- 
rupt, than any that has preceded it. — Bargaining 
and compromise will be the order of the day. — I came 
here hoping that I might be able to lend to it a frank 
support — The Crawford party will have to stand 
aloof, they will not be able I fear to support this ad- 
ministration; and the alternative as yet presented — 
is perhaps still more objectionable. — I mean to stand 
aloof from all political connection having relation to 
the next presidency — and support or oppose, accord- 


ing as my best judgment may dictate in each partic- 
ular case. — The proposed constitutional amendments 
will probably occupy much time — and upon one point 
I have not made up my mind. I should be obliged to 
you for your views on that point. — I am in favor of 
uniformity in electing electors, and would as at pres- 
ent advised prefer the district system. — But as re- 
g-ards taking" the election, in the event the people fail 
to give a majority to one candidate, from the House 
of Keps. — is the point upon which I have great and 
serious doubts. 

In the first place, it will not do in my opinion to let 
a plurality elect— for the g'ovt would not be able to 
g'et along* with a majority ag-ainst it. — If then the 
point has to be settled by some tribunal — cannot the 
judg-t and discretion of the H. of Rs. be more relied 
upon than the electoral colleges. — For in either case 
a compromise would have to be made and which body 
is most to be relied upon? — Ag-ain, I think it desir- 
able to retain Federal features of the constitution un- 
defaced — and resist the tendencies to Consolidation. 
The equality of reps in the senate is the stroncf and 
strongest Federal feature — another is the equality of 
the sovereignties in the election of Prest in the event of 
failure by the people. — Abolish that, and is it not an 
approach towards consolidation? 

I know that the public sentiment is at this time in 
favor of destroying that feature — But temporary re- 
sentments resulting from disappointment in a favorite 
object, oug'ht not to prevail in making- great funda- 
mental changes, and the Representative is not worth 
a fig who in such a case does otherwise than as he 
thinks right. 

I take it that the destinies of No. Carolina(6) will 
cast her lot with the small states — thoug'h in popula- 
tion and territory she is such as to give expectations 
of better things — ^yet her exclusion from commercial 
importance, will contribute powerfully to give her an 
interest in common with, tho' not the smallest, yet 
with the smaller states. — She has no political views 
to gratify — her interest is that things should go on 
calmly and smoothly — should she not therefore en- 
deavor to preserve and keep up the weight and im- 
portance or the smaller states? I should like to have 
your views on this subject. — Our members(7) here as 


far as I now, are in favor of the changfe. I am the 
only one perhaps opposed to it or doubting- about it 
in this H. of Reps. 

The present CongressCS) will be administration. — 
**The powers that be" have been gaininpf strength I 
should imagine. — Our friend Lewis Williams (9) goes 
in deep enough. — ^The thought, you know, of Gen. 
Jackson is to him gall and bitterness — and I fear that 
sentiment may serve him too far, — As regards Gren. 
Jackson(lO), I am sure he has made his best race and 
that the "powers that be" have little to apprehend 
from that quarter. — Lewis however is no half way 
man — he is agt. Jackson, and therefore permits him- 
self when there is not necessity for it, to be for 
Adams. — For it is clear that this admn. has but few 
sentiments or leading political subjects in common 
with him. — The other day when I had made a feeble 
set at the new Judiciary bill Lewis made a long 
speech, and at every step spoke at me. — It was all 
done however with good feelings — and as he said in 
self defence. 

Judging from what 1 can learn here, I presume that 
Mr. Adams will be reelected easily — unless some 
northern man shall come, who can carry the south — 
and whether Clin ton(ll) could or ought to do so, must 
depend upon further developments. 

Our old friend Mr. Macon has been in worse health 
this winter than I ever knew him to be. — He has had 
very violently, and still has with fliminisheil violence, 
the influenza(12), which has prevailed here with un- 
usual severity. I believe the old gentleman some- 
times thinks seriously of quitting. — He has not re- 
covered I think from the shock produced by the death 
of his daughter. — Mr. Clay (13) has been in very bad 
health, he is better however— and has resumed his 
old tricks of wawa^/w^ occasionally.' 

My confidence m him has been a good deal im- 
paired by a circumstance, which I will mention to 
you tn confidence. — He expects that his course in re- 
lation to the presidential election will be severely 
handled in the discussion of the proposed amendments 
of the constitution. — Gen. Vance(14) of Ohio, with 
whom I have been upon terms of great intimacy since 
our first acquaintance, told me some time ago, that in 
the event any reflexion should be cast upon their 



party in the debate — they had determined to propose 
another amendment — to-wit, that the weight 3-S of 
our slaves shd. be no longer operative in that elec- 
tion — indeed to abolish that feature of compromise. 
He further informed me that he ^z.%fxedupon to pro- 
pose it — he held the conversation with me to prepare 
my mind for it, that I might not be taken with sur- 
prize. Now from the known confidence existing be- 
tween Clay and Vance — I can not doubt (tho' not so 
informed) that Clay was at the bottom of it. — Indeed 
he is the only man amongst them of boldness enough 
to go that length and touch that delicate subject. — 
Now sir any southern man, who is capable of touch- 
ing that subject in that manner, and at a moment 
when there is. so much known feeling upon the sub- 
ject to the north ought to be — and is reckless of 
everything to gratify a bad ambition. — Indeed Clay 
perceives that he has but little to expect from the 
South — and by a movement of this kind he may effec- 
tually secure the north. — Pennsylvania perhaps inclu- 
sive, — For it is clear that the Jackson fever has abated 
very much with many of that delegation. — That com- 
munication produced great effect upon my mind, and 
accounts in some degree for the raps I gave them the 
other day. 

Mr^. Adams(lS) gives splendid levees — and John II 
is quite republican in his manners. — Mr. Calhoun(16) 
gives his dinner parties. — I had the honor of being 
noticed by him quite early. — and what do you think 
he said to me when leaving him. — holding my hand 
''Mangum, Mangum, do — do sir, call and see me fre- 
quently and spend some of your evenings with us — 
without ceremony — come sir. We shall always be 
glad to see you, and bring any friend with you." — 
Ah Sirl he knows a thing or two. — It is in that way 
he sweeps the young fellows. 

He is a great friend to the North State(l7), as Mr. 
Macon calls it. Haven't you seen how some one of his 
friends (18) Hayne, it is believed, has taken his pen 
to defend Mr. Galhoun and laud Mr. Macon? — He is 
in the Senate every day, talks a great deal about (19) 
paying oflF the national debt immediately. — I should 
like to know whether a reduction of the expenses of 
the army establishment and the consequent reduction 


of tke patronage of that department would be as bitter 
a pill to iiim now as formerly. 

He (20) may be considered as entered for the suc- 
cess stake if not at the next races, certainly at the 

It would make you laugh heartily to hear Gov. (21) 
Barbour speak of the labors of his department. You 
know him I believe. — You know he is a man of words 
but not a business man. 

He says he sits down to make estimates on the sub- 
ject of some fortification — he scarcely gets under way 
before he is applied to and urged about a pension — 
and every pension case is a suit in equity — he hardly 
begins before some would-be cadet is introduced and 
breaks off the train of his reflections — he returns to 
the subject again and before he can collect his 
thoughts some damned dispute about brevet rank is 
submitted to him, about which he knows nothing— 
and he hardly gets under way in examining the 
usages of the Govt, before some of the Tusianaggccs 
(title of Indian chiefs) are thrust upon him and before 
he can get his maps and '*couut the l)roken sticks" 
some damned fellow turns him somerset into a canal — 
and after the day spent in these perplexities next 
morning he begins again, without having advanceti u 
step upon any one subject. 

His account of his perplexities are truly ludicrous — 
but he says a purchaser ivtth notice ought not to com- 

Mr. Gailliard(22) has been very and dangerously ill. 
He is recovering I hope. 

Mr. Randolph (23) seems very much graiiiicd witli 
his election to the Senate, and will I expect become 
for a while an industrious member of that b<idy. 

I have I believe sufficiently tested A-our patience. It 
being Sunday night and having little else to do — I 
have indulged the cacoethes sufficiently. 

I shall let you hear from me occasionally and hope 
you will reciprocate. 

Accept assurances of my regard 

Willie P. Mangum, 

Bartlett Yancey, Esq. 


(1) Willie Person Mangum was born in Orange county, North 


Carolina, in 1792; g^raduated at the University of North Caro- 
lina in 1815; became a lawyer; judg-e of the Superior Court 
1819-'23; Representative in Congress 1823-'26; judge of the 
Superior Court again 1826 and 1828-'30; U. S. Senator 1831- 
•37, 1841-'S3; died September 14th, 1861, on learning that his 
only son, William Preston, was killed at the first battle of 
Manassas. He was noted as a stump orator. He was Presi- 
dent ^r^ tempore of th^ Senate 1841-'4S. In 1836 South Caro- 
lina voted for him for the Presidency, 

(2)The treaty with the Creeks here mentioned was ratified 
January 24th, 1826, by a vote of 30 to 7. The Creeks ceded 
their lands in Georg-ia to the United States for $217,600 and a 
perpetual annuity of $20,000. The followers of Mcintosh 
were to emigrate and to receive $100,000 if they numbered 3,- 
000; if not, proportionally, and to be paid for their improve- 
ments. Georgia objected to the treaty, being satisfied with 
that of Indian Springs heretofore mentioned. 

In 1802 Georgia ceded to the United States her claim west 
of a certain line, the latter stipulating to extinguish the In- 
dian title **as soon as it could be done peaceably and on rea- 
sonable terms." In pursuance of this compact the United 
States bought nearly 15,000,000 acres, the original area 
being about 20,000,000 acres. Georgia contended that 
the compact had been broken as to the lands not bought, 
and also as to those of the Cherokees, that the United 
States connived at the Indians becoming permanent settlers 
to the great obstruction of her development. Her ofl&cers used 
very threatening language and afterwards defied the author- 
ity of the General Government. President Adams behaved 
with much moderation. It is now generally admitted that 
Georg-ia had cause of complaint, but many think that her of- 
ficers were unnecessarily insulting and defiant. 

(3)Dawson's was a boarding house in Washington. 

Thomas W. Cobb was a Representative 1817-'21; Senator 
1824-'28; afterwards a Judge in Georgia. 

James Meriwether, Representative 182S-'27. 

(4)Edward F. Tatnall of Savannah. Representative 1821 -'27. 


(S)The bill did not pass. Two judges were added in 1837. 

(6)North Carolina, as regards population, was 3d in 1790; 
4th in 1800, 1810 and 1820; Sth in 1830; 7th in 1840; 10th in 
1850; 12th in 1860; 14th in 1870; iSth in 1880; 13th in 1890: 
iSth in 1900. Her rank in wealth is much lower. 

(7 ) Besides Mangiim, the members were Willis Alston, Dan- 
iel L. Barringer, John H. Brjan, Samuel P. Carson, Henry W. 
Conner, Weldon N. Edwards, Richard Hines, Gabriel Holmes, 
John Long, Archibald McNeill, Romulus M. Saunders, 
Lemuel Sawyer, Lewis Williams. Daniel L. Barring-er was 
uncle of Daniel M. Barringer, afterwards a Representative and 
Minister to Spain. 

(8)This was true as to the' Senate but not the House. The 
friends of Crawford, Jackson and Calhoun united in fierce op- 
position and thwarted Adams' recommendations as a rule. It 
is true the House voted to pay the envoys to the Panama Con- 
gress, but delayed the measure so long that the Cong-ress ad- 
journed before their arrival. 

(9) Lewis Williams was a native of Surry county, North 
Carolina; born in 1782, graduated at the University of North 
Carolina, was a Representative from 1815 to 1842 continuously, 
and was known as the **Father of tbe House." 

(lO)The false prophets of the present day can take comfort 
from this prediction. 

(ll)DeWitt Clinton, of New York; United States Senator 
1802-'03; Governor of New York; Mayor of New York City;, 
ardent promoter of the Erie and Champlain canals. In 1812 
he was the candidate of the Federalists and New York Demo- 
crats for the Presidency and received 89 electoral votes. He 
died in 1828; was nephew of Georg-e Clinton, who was General 
in the Revolution, Governor of New York, and Vice-President 
under Jefferson and Madison. 

(12)Now called g-rippe, or grip. 

(13)Clay had a peculiar power of influencing members. It 
is stated that his manner of offering a pinch of snuff was espe- 
cially seductive. Like Mirabeau, he had the ^'dang-erous art 
of familiarity'', and was on occasion denunciatory. 


(14)Joseph Vance, of Ohio; Representative 1823-'3S and 
1843-'47; Governor of Ohio, 1836. 

Many amendments to the Constitution had been offered, 
looking to the election of the President by the people, because 
under the existing mode the will of the majority of the people 
had been defeated by the choice of Adams by the House of 
Representatives. There was no agreement, however, as to 
the mode of reconciling the interests of the small and large 

An amendment, requiring the concurrence of seven justices 
of the Supreme Court in order to declare any law of the States 
unconstitufional was rejected in the Senate, 21 to 20. An- 
other to require the Supreme Court to issue such process as 
issues from the highest State tribunals was defeated by a 
larger vote, 34 to 7. 

The firebrand amendment talked of by Mr. Vance was not 
offered, was possibly a mere threat. There was another story 
that John Randolph proposed to Clay that the Southern 
members should secede from Congress, and that Clay held the 
proposition under advisement. 

(IS)Mrs. Adams was Louisa Catherine, daughter of a Mary- 
land merchant, Joshua Johnson, who was the American consul 
in London. She was married to John Quincey Adams in 1797, 
and resided with him in Berlin, St. Petersburg, London and 
Washington. She was an accomplished member of the high- 
est circles of those cities. After her husband's death in 1848, 
she made Quincey her home until her death in 1852. 

(16)The uniform testimony of those who knew Calhoun at 
his home is that he was always cordial and of winning man- 
ners. Mr. Mangum, therefore, may have been mistaken in 
supposing that he was putting on electioneering airs, on the 
occasion mentioned. Mr. Calhoun married his second cousin, 
Floride Calhoun, who brought him fortune enough to allow 
him to devote himself to public life and dispense a generous 

(17)North Carolina is more often called * *t h e Old North State. " 
As the Governors of '*Carolina", under the Lords Proprietors, 


usually resided in Charleston, South Carolina naturally re- 
tained colloquially the name of ''Carolina." 

(18)Robert Y. Hayne, Senator from South Carolina 1823-'32; 
Gk)vemor 1832-'34; President of the Cincinnati and Charleston 
Railroad Company 1836-'39; distinguished for his debate with 
Webster. The ''defence of Calhoun" is probably meant to be 
construed as referring to his political course generally. The 
specific charge of being a participator in the profits of the 
contract of Mix with the war department, when he was Sec- 
retary, was not made until the latter part of 1825. He was 
proved to be utterly innocent. 

(19)By 1828 $146,669,773.48, of which $88,834,108.66 was 
principal, of the public debt, was paid. Mr. McLane, Secre- 
tary of the Treasury, reported at the close of 1832, "the debt 
may be considered as substantially extinguished after the Ist 
of January next." 

(20)Calhoun was then friendly with Jackson. Subse- 
quently Jackson learned that Calhoun, when Secretary of War, 
strongly disapproved of his invasion of Florida, and conceived 
a violent hatred against him. This destroyed Calhoun's 
chances for the Presidency. 

(21)There were three prominent Barbours of Virginia, 
James, John S. and Philip Pendleton, James Barbour is here 
mentioned; Governor 1812-'15; United States Senator 1815-'25; 
Secretary of War 1825-'28; Minister to England 1828-'29. 

(22)John Galliard, of South Carolina; United States Sena- 
tor 1805-'26; President ;^r^ tempore oi the Senate 1809-'ll, and 
1813-'26. Died at Washington February 26, 1826, and was 
succeeded as President of the Senate pro tern, by Nathaniel 

(23)John Randolph "of Roanoke"; Representative 1799-1813, 
1815-'17, 1819-'25; Senator 1825-27; Representative 1827-'29; 
Minister to Russia 1830; died 1833. He appointed Nathaniel 
Macon one of the executors to his will. 


Since the note on John R. Eaton was printed I have ascer- 
tained some facts concerning: him, derived from Wheeler^s His- 
tory and from Mrs. Susan (Taylor) Fontaine, of Hinds coun- 
ty, Mississippi. 

Major John Rust Eaton was a son of Colonel Charles Rust 
Eaton, an officer of the Revolution. He was wealthy and in- 
fluential, several times a member of the General Assembly 
from Granville county, one of the earliest stockholders and 
probably a director of the Roanoke Navig-ation Company. 
He was fond of fine horses. An imported stallion of his, Co- 
lumbus, brought $10,000 at the sale of his effects after his 
death in 1830. He was not the father of Secretary of War, 
John H. Eaton, of Tennessee. 

The foregoining- letters have 4)een carefully printed as the 
writers spelt and punctuated; all complaints of typographical 
errors will be out of place. 


It is useless to print a list of the books referred to for the 
information given in the notes. Perhaps it ought to be men- 
tioned that the most useful were Tucker's and MacMaster^s 
Histories^ iht Political Register oi Voor^^ Jamieson*s Diction- 
ary of the (Jnited States^ Benton's Abridgment^ and Sumner^s 
History of the Currency. 

Hon. Charles A. Cooke, mentioned in the note on Macon, 
as one of my authorities, has very recently been elevated to 
the Supreme Court Bench of North Carolina. 


A ^;^..f(- 






James Sprunt Historical Monograph 

No, 3, 



JULY 1. 1902 


James Sprunt Historical Monograph 
No. 3, 

[^ Letters of Nathaniel Macoiv John^teele and William 
Barry Grove, with Sketches and Notes 
by Kemp R Battle, LL»D» 


\ -- ., 

i J •-,/ # 

' ^ NOV 17 V.^'Y' '' : 



The James Sprunt Monog^raph No. 3 consists of letters, not 
heretofore published, from Nathaniel Macon, John Steele and 
William Barry Grove, written at various times from 1792 to 
1824, with copious notes explanatory of the allusions therein. 
The originals are among the papers of General Steele, which 
were transferred to the University of North Carolina in accord- 
ance with the will of the widow of David L. Swain, once 
Governor and President of the University. The letters of 
General Steele are copies retained by him and in his hand- 
writing. I prefix short sketches of each of the writers, and 
of James Hogg, to whom some of the letters of Mr. Grove were 
addressed. There will be found also a letter of Colonel Jo- 
seph McDowell, of Quaker Meadows, in reply to one from 
General Steele. 

Kkmp p. Battle. 


Nathaniel Macon, of Huguenot descent, was born in Warren 
county, North Carolina, in December, 1757. His father, Gid- 
eon Macon, was a prosperous farmer, and his mother, Priscilla, 
daughter of Edward Jones, was of the best and oldest families 
of Warren. He was at Princeton University (then College of 
New Jersey) when the Revolutionary war broke out, left col- 
lege and enlisted as a private, but resigned from the army by 
advice of General Greene, when he was elected to the General 
Assembly. He served as Senator 1780-'81-'82 and 1785 and 
'86; after that, giving place to his brother John, who was an 
esteemed Senator and Commoner for fourteen years. In 1791 
he took his seat as Representative in Congress and was con- 
tinuously re-elected until 1815 when he was transferred to the 
Senate. He was Speaker of the House 1791 to 1806. His ser- 
vice as Senator continued until 1828 — for three years, 1825, 
1826 and 1827 being President pro tempore. He thus had 
thirty-seven years of continuous service, elected with little op- 
position. Virginia voted for him as Vice-President in 1824. 
His leaving the Senate in 1828 was on account of the infirmi- 
ties of old age. He thereafter resolved to lead a quiet life but 
was drawn from his retirement to serve in the Constitutional 
Convention of 1835, of which he was unanimously elected 
President. His last public work was as Elector on the Van 
Buren ticket of 1837. His death occurred the same 3'ear, 
June 29th. 

His Congressional career, together with others of his let- 
ters, and additional particulars of his family and private life, 
are given in the James Sprunt Historical Monograph No. 2. 
In politics he was a very strict construction Republican, a 


Crawford man and a Democrat, but he occasional ly refused to 
follow his party when in his opinion it deviated from the 
straigfht path. He was a Trustee and warm friend of his 
State University. The strictness of his integ^rity in private 
equalled that of his political life. 


John Steele, who, on account of having been elected by the 
(ieneral Assembly to the highest post in the militia, is usually 
called General Steele, was born in Salisbury, North Carolina, 
in 1765. He was the son of William Steele and Elizabeth, his 
wife, the latter being known in history for a most praise- 
worthy act in the darkest hour of the Revolution. On the 
1st of February, 1781, Gen. Greene spent the night at her 
house. Dr. Read, who had charge of the American hospital 
at Salisbury, called to see him. Said the General: *'I have 
ridden hard all day in the rain. I am fatigued, hungry, lone 
and penniless." Mrs. Steele overheard the words. She went 
to her hiding place and brought out two bags of specie, all 
she had. the savings of years, and gave them to him, saying: 
**Take these, you will need them. I can do without them." 
It was in her parlor that the picture of George III was hang- 
ing. Gen, Greene turned the face to the wall and wrote on the 
back, **Oh, George! hide thy face and mourn I" 

John Steele, the son of this most excellent woman, was a 
merchant and a planter. He represented the borough of Salis- 
bury in the House of Commons in 1787 and 1788, and in the 
Conventions called to pass on the Constitution of the United 
States in 1788 and 1789. His vote in both was given for the 
Constitution, which was ratified November 2% 1789. 

Mr. Steele was chosen to be one of the first members of the 
United States House of Representatives, and took his seat 
April 19th, 1790. Hugh Williamson had preceded him on 
March 10th, John Baptist Ashe on the 24th of the same 
month, Timothy Blood worth on the 6th of April, and John 
Sevier, from across the mountains, did not appear until the 
16th of June. 


General Steele was a warm admirer of President Washing- 
ton but not an unquestioning supporter of all the administra- 
tion measures. In common with his colleagues he opposed 
Hamilton's plan of the assumption by the Union of all the 
debts of the States contracted for gaining our independence, 
believing that it was impossible to adjust the account equita- 
bly. As might be expected he voted for the location of the 
seat of government on the Potomac. In 1791 he supported 
the bill for establishing a national bank, the constitutionality 
of which was fought so earnestly by Jefferson, Madison and 
their followers. Sevier agreed with him, but Ashe, Blood- 
worth and Williamson were on the other side. On the ques- 
tion of reduction of the army he was earnestly in favor of the 
measure, making strong and elaborate speeches, endeavoring 
to show the superiority of militia over regulars. His motion, 
however, did not prevail. Of his colleagues Ashe, Grove and 
Macon were with him on this question, Williamson against 
and Sevier absent. On the resolutions of censure of the Sec- 
retary of the Treasury, he voted uniformly, with Williamson, 
in opposition to Ashe and Macon, in Hamilton's favor. Grove 
favored one of the resolutions. 

Mr. Steele's course in moving to reduce the army, being 
perverted into indifference lo the sufferings of the frontiers- 
men from Indian hostilities, probably caused his defeat for the 
3rd Congress. That he was appreciated by the State at large 
is shown by the fact that he was elected b^ the General As- 
sembly Major General of Militia, and also at a later period, 
1806, a Commissioner, with Montfort Stokes, afterwards Gov- 
ernor, and Robert Burton, who in l787-'88 was a member of 
the Congress of the Confederation, to adjust the boundary line 
between North and South Carolina. For this purpose the 
commissioners chose as their scientific expert, Rev. Dr. Joseph 
Caldwell, President of the University of North Carolina. 
Their action was ratified in 1813. 

In 17%, by the appointment of Washington, he undertook the 
responsible duties of first Comptroller of the Treasury, and 


held this position until 1802 with such acceptability that he 
was requested by President Jefferson to continue in the office. 
He determined however to resig-n, chiefly on account of un- 
willingfness to be separated from his family and similar un- 
willingness, to remove them to Washington. 

It has been mentioned that he was a member of the House 
of Commons from the borough of Salisbury in 1787 and 1788. 
He was again a member in 1794 and 1795, also in 1806, 1811, 
1812 and 1613. In 1811 he was Speaker of the House. He 
was again elected a member of the House on the 14th of 
August, 1815, but died on the same day. 

General Steele married Mary Nesfield, of Fayetteville, N. 
C, whose ancestors emigrated from Dublin, Ireland. She 
survived him many years. They had three daughters, Ann, 
who became the wife of General Jesse A. Pearson, an uncle of 
Chief Justice Richmond M. Pearson; Margaret, who married 
Stephen L. Ferrand, M.D., and was grandmother of John 
Steele Henderson, late a representative in Congress from 
North Carolina, and thirdly, Eliza, wife of Colonel Robert 

General Steele was universally recognized as a man of 
sound judgment and loftiest integrity. He was in all respects 
a model citizen. 


Wm. Barry Grove, although once a prime favorite with a 
larjfe and intelligent District and for twelve years a member 
of Congress, has almost disappeared from our history. As his 
family many years ago removed to the West or Southwest, 
their residence not being known, no information has been ob- 
tainable from them. Mr. Edward R. McKethan, a prominent 
lawyer of Fayetteville, and Mr. Allan A. McCaskill, an aged 
and very intelligent citizen of Cumberland, enable me to give 
a few facts of his history. 

His mother married Robert Rowan, who gave the name to 
Rowan street in Fayetteville. His stepfather appointed him 
as one of the executors of his will and devised to him a lot of 
ground on that street. His residence was that of his step- 
father, the colonial mansion at the corner of Rowan and 
Chatham street. It was a notable structure for that day, its 
situation on a hill, with the basement of brick, giving it a 
striking appearance. Mr. McCaskill remembers that its su- 
periority to the other houses of the neighborhood was such as 
to remind him of an old baronial castle. It has long ago dis- 
appeared but the ground is called the Grove lot to this day. 
Mr. Grove dispensed a bountiful hospitality. The town was 
on one of the main lines of travel between the South and the 
North, Members of Congress, journeying, many of them on 
horseback, to and from the seat of government, often found it 
convenient to become his guests, the duration of the visits 
being limited only by the will of the guests. 

As his stepfather devised to his mother his plantation, called 
Hollybrook, it is probable that he inherited it. At any rate 
his style of living showed that he must have had other in- 


come than the receipts of his profession, that of the law, and 
his per diem as Representative. 

Of the early life of Mr. Grove we know nothing. We first 
hear of him as in 1784 Register of the County of Fayette (as 
Cumberland was called by act of Assembly of that year, soon 
to resume her first name). His popularity is proved by his 
election to the House of Commons in 1786, 1788 and 1789. In 
1788 he was likewise a delegate to the Convention called to 
consider the Constitution of the United States, and voted with 
the minority against the resolution to postix)ne it. He was 
sustained by his constituents, and the next year was elected a 
member of the Convention of 1789, as well as of the General 
Assembly. In this Convention he was one of the 194 against 
77 which made North Carolina a part of the Union. He 
also succeeded in having the State constitution of 1776 
amended so as to make Fayetteville a borough town, en- 
titled to a member in the House of Commons, as were Eden- 
ton, Newbern, Wilmington, Halifax, Hillsborough and Salis- 
bury. He had two years before induced the General Assembly 
to constitute Fayetteville a district court town, in which su- 
perior courts were held twice a year for several counties. 

Mr. Grove's popularity was such that he was easily elected 
to the first Congress and continuously thereafter until he went 
down in 1803 before the irresistible Republican party. He 
was thus a member of the House of Representatives of the 
United States during the most critical period of the new gov- 
ernment. He served during most of the administration of 
Washington, all of that of Adams and two years of Jeiferson. 

He was in the main a supporter of the measures known to 
be approved by the Federal leaders. On questions regarded 
as of peculiar interest to the South he voted with his section. 

He opposed the bill giving bounties to the great Great 
Bank and Cod Fisheries. When Washington vetoed the bill 
to apportion representatives, because not in accordance with 
the Constitution, he sustained the President. He naturally 
favored the law for the restoration of fugitives laves, and did 


not favor the proposal to levy duties on tobacco and sugar. 
He opposed the increase of our navy for the Algerine war. 
In the dispute with Great Britain, which led up to Jay's 
Treaty, he favored the non-Intercourse measure, and notwith- 
standing its unpopularity in North Carolina, voted for carry- 
ing into effect the provisions of the treaty. In this he was 
conspicuous for courage, as with him were only three mem- 
bers south of the Mason and Dixon line, all the other Sooith- 
ern members siding with Madiscm and other opponents of the 
treaty. He gave his vote for the direct tax, and for appro- 
priating a sum sufficient to finish the frigates Constellation, 
United States and the Constitution, (old Ironsides). Hegen- 
erally sustained President Adams. He voted for protection 
to our commerce, and establishing a naval department. In 
contemplation of a probable war with France he favored rais- 
ing a provisional army. He showed more courage than polit- 
ical discernment when, alone, of all the members from his 
State, he voted for the Alien and Sedition laws. Other meas- 
ures supported by him are the suspension of Intercourse with 
France, the prohibition of the slave trade, mausoleum to Wash- 
ington, and the repeal of the Sedition law. He opposed the 
the repeal of the act authorizing the appointment of addition- 
al judges, usually called the ''Midnight judges," also the ad- 
mission of Ohio as a State, and the receding to Virginia and 
Maryland of jurisdiction over the District of Columbia. 

The foregoing statement shows why Grove, like Davie and 
other able and patriotic Federalists, was unable to withstand 
the overwhelming forces of Jeffersonian Republicanism. 

Grove's political career, was closed after losing his seat in 
1803. He however did his State much service as an active and 
efficient worker for its University. It shows his high rank in 
the public confidence, that, when in 1789 in its charter were 
named as Trustees forty of the most eminent citizens who 
had already attained, or were destined to attain, the highest 
positions as Governors. Senators, Judges, Representatives in 
Congress, and the like, Grove was one of the number. He 


held this office until 1818, probably the date of his death, and 
was always ready to give the strug-g-ling institution wise and 
ready aid. President Caldwell was in the habit of consulting 
him about the appointment of Professors, and the purchase of 
books and apparatus for instruction. On the whole he was 
an honorable, intelligent and highly respected servant of the 


James Hogg was no politician and never aspired to, and 
probably would never have accepted, public office. He was, 
however, one of the most influential men of his day, and his 
descendants have been, and are now, most honorable and use- 
ful citizens. 

He was a native of East Lothian, Scotland, and resided in 
that section until after his marriage and the birth of several 
children. He then removed to a farm leased by him in the 
parish of Reay, near Thurso. He was made a Justice of the 
Peace and, by his activity in the detection and punishment of 
crime, then very prevalent in the Highlands, he incurred the 
bitter enmity of the natives. In the autumn of 1770 a ship 
was wrecked on the rocks in sight of his home, and, as in duty 
bound, he displayed great energy and pluck in saving the 
goods from the wild wreckers, who claimed the ancient right 
of pillage, A company was formed to murder him. His 
home was broken into and finding that he was absent the mal- 
efactors burnt it. Nothing daunted he did not rest until the 
perpetrators were brought to justice. He then determined to 
emigrate to North Carolina, where some of his relations had 
preceded him. After much stormy weather and consequent 
delay he landed in Wilmington in 1774. By his persuasion a 
goodly number of his neighbors accompanied him, among 
them, the Straughans, or Strayhorns, Craig's, and McAuleys. 
He settled first at Fayettville, as a merchant, carrying on bus- 
iness at that town and Wilmington, in conjunction with his 
cousins, Robert and John Hogg. 

During the Revolution he took the side of the colonies and 
served during the war on the Committee of Safety, travelling 
on one occasion to Connecticut on public business. 


After the war he continued his mercantile pursuits for 
some years, and then concluded to retire from business and 
devote himself to agriculture. He purchased a plantation of 
1160 acres on both sides of Eno river near the corporate limits 
of Hillsboro, and for some time resided on the north side of 
the river in what is now called "the Old House," in the beau- 
tiful park of the late Paul C. Cameron. He then in 1880 
built him a home on the south side and named it Poplar Hill, 
for many years afterwards the residence of the Norwoods, 
now the model farm of Julian S. Carr, called Occonechee. 
There are still on the place ornamental trees and shrubbery 
of his planting. 

Mr. Hogg was one of the picked men of the State — forty in 
number, selected in 1789 to carry into effect the mandate of 
the Constitution of 1776 requiring the establishment of the 
University. In those days of wretched roads and few bridges 
travelling was attended with numerous discomforts, but he 
was one of the most punctual and active Trustees. He was 
at the first meeting on the 28th of December, 1789, and at the 
second in November, 1790, when; as agent of General Benja- 
min. Smith, he presented to the Board warrants for 20,000 acres 
of land to be located in West Tennessee, whenever the Indian 
title should be extinguished. He also answered to the roll- 
call in August 1792 and doubtless voted with the majority, 
for Cyprett's Bridge over New Hope in the county of Chatham, 
as the centre of a circle thirty miles in diameter, within which 
the University should be located. When one commissioner 
from each Jucidial District was balloted for to select the site, 
he was elected, the others being Wm. Porter, John Hamilton, 
Alexander Mebane, Willie Jones, David Stone, Frederick Har- 
gett, Wm. H. Hill. On November 1st, 1792 he met at Pitts- 
boro five of these commissioners, Hargett, Mebane, Hill, Stone 
and Jones. After inspecting various points in Chatham, they 
fixed on Chapel Hill, the owners of the land generously donat- 
1080 acres. 

Mr. Hogg's interest in the University did not end here. He 


assisted the young institution by his wise counsels in the se- 
lection of its professors, the adoption of its curriculum and 
starting on its career of usefulness, until his resignation in 
1802, which was caused by a paralytic stroke, under which he 
lingered until his death in 1805. 

The family name of James Hogg, which is said to mean in 
Scottish, a year-old lamb, is not among his descendants. 
Those were the days of rough jokers, who spared not age nor 
dignity. Annoyed by witticisms on boars, pork, shotes, pigs, 
hams, sausages and other hog products, in allusion to him- 
self and his children, he applied successfully to the General 
Assembly to change the last name of his sons Walter and 
Gavin, to Alves, their mother's maiden name. He said that 
his daughters had power to change their own names and 
hence they are not found in the Act of Assembly. 

He was a member of the great Transylvania Company, of 
which Judge Richard Henderson was President. This com- 
pany assumed to buy of the Cherokee Indians an immense 
tract of country, part of the present states of Kentucky and 
Tennessee. The states of North Carolina and Virginia de 
clared the sale illegal, but each allowed the company 200,000 
acres by way of compromise. Some of the descendants of Mr. 
Hogg left the State and settled in Kentucky on part of this 

The wife of James Hogg was McDowal Alves, daughter of 
Alexander and Elizabeth (Ingles) Alves. Of their children 
Walter and Gavin Alves were successively Treasurers of the 
University and the former was also Secretary and Trustee, 
Walter Alves was Commoner of Orange county in 1793, 
'94 and '95. He married Amelia Johnston, daughter of an- 
other member of the Transylvania Company, a merchant of 
Hillsboro,and settled near Henderson, Kentucky, said to have 
been named after John Henderson, who married his daughter. 
There are many descendants of Walter Alves, five of whom 
in the first quarter of the late century, were students of the 
University of North Carolina. 


Of the daug-hters of James Hogg all changed their names. 
Elizabeth married John Huske, leaving two children, John, 
from whom are descended the Huskes of Fayetteville, promi- 
nent among whom was the late Rev. Joseph Caldwell Huske, 
D.D., and Anne Alves, the wife of Mr. James Webb, of Hills- 
boro, from whom came many excellent citizens. Helen, the sec- 
ond daughter, married Wm. Hooper, son of the sig-ner of the 
Declaration of Independence of the same name,and had a son, 
William, who became a prominent professor of Ancient Lan- 
guages and Baptist preacher. She married a second time. 
Rev. Joseph Caldwell, D.D., President of the University for 
thirty years. They had no children. 

Robina married Judge William Norwood, and left a numer- 
ous and influential posterity, among them Rev. Wm. Norwood, 
D.D,, of Virginia, the sound lawyer John W. Norwood, of 
Hillsboro, Colonel Wm. Bingham, Colonel Robert Bingham, 
and Major Wm. Bingham Lynch. 

On the whole, considering the good he did in his day, and 
the incalculable beneficial influence of his descendants, it may 
well be doubted whether our State has ever had a more valu- 
able citizen, than James Hogg. 


Gen. Steele to Col. Jos, McDowells 

Salisbury Novemr. 20th, 1794. 

I have been informed by several persons that dur- 
ing the late Superior Court at Morganton, you took 
the trouble to circulate a variety of objections against 
my conduct, while acting in the capacity of a Repre- 
sentative in Congress. 

What purpose these objections were intended to 
answer or what motives produced them are equally 
immaterial, the public manner in which they were 
mentioned entitles them to some notice. This can 
only be done at present by requesting that you will 
do me the favor to particularize in writing* such parts 
of my public conduct as amount in your estimation to 
a dereliction of the interests of the State which I then 
represented and particularly what authorized you to 
say that I was not a friend to the western parts of 
North Carolina. ' 

In doing this, let nothing be kept back, for scruti- 
njr is desirable where motives are pure and actions 

Truth which is due to an enemy, as well as a friend 
is all I require, and if you have been imposed on by 
misinformation in regard to me, I will venture to be- 
lieve, that your candour, upon being better informed 
will induce you to acknowledge it. In the mean- 
time however I cannot help lamenting, that you or 
any representative of North Carolina should be 
willing to receive impressions unfavorable to a citi- 
zen of your own State, from the report of mere 
strangers, while Mr. Macon and Mr. Grove were 
present, from whom the truth, and all that the truth 



mig-ht have been obtained. These gentlemen are in- 
dependent of all parties, they must recollect that the 
Representatives of this State were unanimous on the 
motion to reduce the army as amended by Dr. William- 
son, and in opposition to the extention of the indian 
war, they remember also the reasons which influenced 
these tw(» votes, and on their report I intend to rest 
this part of the business. 
Copy of a letter to Col. Jo. McDowal, inclosed to Mr. Grove. 

' These first two letters throw Hg^ht on the first letter of 
Macon, which follows. 

All the letters arc printed with the spelling", etc., of the 

CoL McDowell to Gen Steele,^ 

philedelphia Jan.-12th-l795. 

I received your letter the contents of which I have 
attended to and as to what you mentioned that should 
have fallen from me at Morg-anton at the September 
terme, I recollect i>erfectly that when in conversation 
with the Judi»es «& Some of the attorneys, when poli- 
tics were the subject of conversation, and the parties 
in Congress mentioned and the part that diff^erent 
Characters had taken & you among others, I recollect 
mentioning that you were considered by a g-reat num- 
ber of the Members from the Southern States and by 
those from Pensylvania & Virginia in perticular, to 
have joined the aristocratical party, stating that 
when you first came forward and perhaps for the first 
Session you were strong-ly opiX)scd to the " Secre- 
tary of State, & to certain men and measures, but that 
they had by some means they could not account for 
got you to join their party and that. after which you 
advicated their Charactors & Cause more streneously 
than you had at first opposed it I not ready at first 
to credit this report but when so repeatedly stated, I 
beg-an to suppose there was some truth in the asser- 

and as to what I mentioned respecting your 
Conduct towards the frontiers, that I took from the 


assertion of Mr. Dayton of Jersey in the House which 
was riot contredicted by any person and further it was 
mentioned to me in privet by Mr Clark who brought 
forward the resolution, for calling- forth the Melitia 
for the protection of the Southwestern Frontiers to 
act on the defencive or oflfencive — which I found you 
Voted against and was told you exerted yourself e in 
argument against which I did not think so much of as 
your ater Conduct as Stated by Mr. Dayton ^ in 
the House — when he Called up your Conduct and stat- 
ed that you argued and acted differently when the 
galeries were Open than what you did when they 
were closed, and further Stated your — Calling up sev- 
eral letters, Charging the Conduct of the people on 
the frontiers and that assigned & exposed their con- 
duct to the extent, and that you stated you well knew 
the Whites were as much if not more to blame than 
the Indians and mentioning your having a General 
knowledge of their transactions but how you acquir- 
ed that knowledge 1 am at a loss to say, but admit- 
ing it to be the fact — Such an account of the Conduct 
on the frontiers must opperate strongly against pro- 
tection being granted them as you well know theOp- 
[X)sition which generally exists with Eastern States 

and I do asure you I want to have been frend- 
ly enough to have wrote you respecting the — manner' 
in which Mr Dayton araigned your Conduct, but ex- 
pecting MrGrove or Mr Macon would as you and them 
wiis in the habit of corresponding with you, the in- 
fermation and report of your condurt made such im- 
pressions on my mind as 1 conceived to oe my dut}' to 
make it known and in that way that you would heare 
of it, but as to my mentioning many people or tak- 
ing pains to do it is wrong and as to what you men- 
tion about Motives you Sir nor no other Man under 
heaven has a right to call in question as I have given 
profifs Sufficient t'> the world — 

the inclosed paper will give you the news — 
I am Sir 
}our most Humble Servant 
Jos McDowell 

John Steele — 



' There were two Joseph McDowells. The writer of this 
letter was known as a "Quaker Meadow Joe/' the other, his 
counsin and brothet-in-law, being **Pleasant Garden Joe." 
The first was major at Cowpens and King's Mountain, often 
a member of the General Assembly, a member of the Consti- 
tutional Convention of 1788, and a representative in Congress, 
l788-'95 and 1797-'99. In 1797 he was a commissioner to run 
the dividing line betjivoen North Carolina and Tennessee. He 
died August 11th, 1801, aged forty-five. — a strong Republi- 

Joseph McDowell Jr., of Pleasant Garden, was a physician, a 
captain at King's Mountain; member of tjie Constitutional 
Convention of 1788, and of the General Assembly, 

^ As Jefferson was Secretary of State it is probable that Col. 
McDowell meant to write Secretary of the Treasury (Hamil- 

^ Jonathan Dayton, of New Jersey, — officer in the Revolu- 
tionary army, delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 
1787; Representative 1791-'99; Speaker of the House, l795-'99. 
A frii^nd of Aaron Burr and suspected of being privy to his 
conspiracy in 1807. 

Nathaniel Macon to John Steele, 

Philadelphia Deer, llth-1794,' 

Your letter of the 22d ultimo' addressed to ^ Mr. 
(irove, which was intended as well to myself as him, 
has been shewn me together with its enclosures. The 
speecli was delivered during my confinement the date 
of Clarks motion'* will plainly shew you this, and I 
am really sorry that it is not in my power for that 
reason to say a word on that subject or to sign the 
certificate agreable to your desire, Although I was 
not present when you made the speech, I remember 
perfectly well, that you, Grove and myself agreed 
that the motion, which occasioned it, was a very im- 


portant one, and that we ag^reed in sentiment on the 
subject, and as well I recollect the speech contains 
the substance of our conversations on the subject of 
the motion, except that I thought the constitution 
would not warrant the g-iving such power to the Pres- 
ident, though I could not have made the observation 
in the house for a reason before mentioned. On a bill 
of a similar nature last session I made objections of 
the same kind. Indeed I am certain, that *I never 
shall consent to give such a power to any President 
— Grove and myself have examined the journal for 
the message of the President which you want, But 
have not been fortunate enough to find such a one, 
the other papers he will send you 

It appears to me that proper reflection and time will 
convince every one, that you have deserved well of 
the State, It is said there are ^ two parties in Con- 
gress, But the fact I do not positively know, if there 
are, I know that I do not belong to either, But what 
is strange to tell, and at the same time must be a con- 
vincing proof that you acted independently, is, that 
there is good reason to believe that neither of these 
parties are desirous to see you here again — 

With sentiments of respect and esteem 
I am Sir 

Yr most Obt- Sert 

Nat hi Macon 
Genl. Steele 


' The seat of government under the present constitution was 
for the first year 1789-'90 at New York, then at Philadelphia 
until 1800, then removed to Washington City. 

"We have not a copy of this letter. 

^Wm. Barry Grove, a sketch of whom may be found on 
preceding pages. 

^It seems that Steele was accused of having joined the 
** Aristocratic party/' Also that on Clark's resolution for call- 
ing out the militia for the protection of the Southwestern 
frontiers. Steele was in the opposition and was alleged to 
have said that the whites were as much to blame as the In- 


dians. Of course it was charged that he was not a friend to 
the people of the West. He seems to have applied to Mr. 
Macon to set him straight. 

^Abraham Clark, who offered the resolution was in the Con- 
tinental Congress 1776-'82; in that of the Confederation 1787-^8 
and Representative in Congress of the United States 179l-'94. 

The Presidential powers considered by Mr. Macon to be 
dangerous were such as the exclusive authority to issue pass- 
ports to those going beyond the Indian boundary line, to re- 
move by force those attempting to settle west of the line, to 
give redress to those injured by the Indians. 

5 Historians are generally of the opinion that the advocates 
of a strong government and those jealous for States' Rights 
were in opposite camps before December 1794, Hamilton the 
leader of one and Jefferson of the other. Mr. Macon evident- 
ly means that these parties were not yet organized openly. 

Macon to Steele. 

' Buck Spring 15 Septr— 1802 

" Mr, T, has returned fr im Peterburg and delivered 
me the enclosed I hope it will be deemed sati factory 
to the gentlemen of the turf in and about Salisbury — 
I have nothing worth telling you, I live almost too 
retired for the neighbourhood news, I send to War- 
renton now & then for the news, and what is old to 
most others is new to me 

I had like to have forgotten to have told you that I 
have a grandson, a stout and hearty looking fellow 

We have generally pretty good crops of Corn, to- 
bacco will be rather short both as to quantity & 
quality, but as some have planted a good deal of Cot- 
ton this may probably nearly balance the deficiency 
in the quantity of tobacco, I mean as to value 

This is Friday though I am not sure what day of 
the month, I have guessed the 15th 

I saw ' (General Davie to day who appears to be in 
in good health 

I have only a word more, which is an imiK)rtant one 


both to you & me, and will no little interest the feel- 
ings of some of my friends near you, which is this, 
That you will with the consent of your family leave 
home on your return to Washing-ton so as to stay a 
day with me I would rather ask for a week or a month 
but this I fear would not be granted, one day is as 
little as could be asked, yet 1 know it is much for you 
& your family to grant; If it shall be convenient for 
you to make this trip, pray write me when I may ex- 
pect you, — We have some races I believe in Novem- 
ber at Warrenton, perhaps you could take them in on 
your way, if so I will advise unless it should be ad- 
vertised in the papers the day 

1 have written this in some haste 

I am Sir yrs. sincerely 

Nath) Macon 
(Mr. Steele) 

These are the Weights agreeable to the New Mar- 
ket Rules of racing- 

r racing 

three Year Old to Carry 8(» lb 
lour Ditto Ditto 100 


Ditto Ditto no 


Ditto Ditto 120 


Ditto Ditto 130 

Sterling Gary 

Keeper of the Course 

Septr. 10. 1802 


'Buck Spring was Macon's plantation, a few miles from the 
County seat ol Warren County. 

'The trade of Warren County was» in Macon's day, trans- 
acted in Petersburg, Virginia. 

**Mr. T." is probably James Turner, who was a private 
with Macon in the Revolutionary war. He was Governor of 
North Carolina, 1802-'05, and United States Senator, 1805- 
1816. He had a large plantation in Warren and raised race- 
horses. His son, Daniel Turner was a Representative in 
Congress, 1827-'29. Daniel's wife was a daughter of Francis 
S. Key. A daughter of Governor Turner married (ieorge K. 


Badger, a Judge and U. S. Senator. Macon also raised 
horses and patronised the turf. 

^General Davie was Wm. Richardson Davie, ex-Governor 
and a special Commissioner to France together with Chief 
Justice Oliver Ellsworth and Van Murray. Their embassy 
averted war. DaAie was called Father of the University of 
North Carolina. He was defeated for Congress in 1802 by 
Willis Alston. 

Steele to Macon; {a copy). 

Dear Sir, 

I thank you for' your two favors concerning the 
weights to be carried by running horses. The certifi- 
cates will settle all disputes. Our Judges have con- 
cluded to fix the same for each day. Between fifteen 
and twenty horses are in keeping for these little 
purses. It diverts me to see how much the passions 
of men can be excited in competition even for trifles. 
There are few things, my friend, I do assure you 
which could afford me greater pleasure than to pay 
you a visit in Warren :-but in my present circumstan- 
ces it is totally impracticable. Since the last of 
Augt. my family has been so much indisposed '(Mrs. 
Steele of the number) that I have not in my power 
to make any arrangements in my private affairs pre- 
paratory to their removal to the seat of Government, 
and it is too irksome to live there as I have done for 
some time past without them. Thus circumstanced 
I have found myself under the necessity of relinquish- 
ing (for the present) the intention of returning. The 
mail which carries this carries also a letter to the 
President requesting him to accept my resignation. 
After the sickly season "• shall have passed, my plan 
is to amuse myself with improvements in agriculture, 
and as my principal business to resume a course of 
general reading which my appointment six years ago 
interrupted. These will fill up my time to the ex- 
clusion of politicks, and with them I trust every pas- 
sion which could disturb a virtuous and tranquil re- 
tirement. I have done justice to my feelings by 
assuring the President **that I am duly sensible of 


his polite treatment and that in future it cannot but 
be a source of pleasing- and grateful reflection to me 
to have been invited by him to continue in the Office." 
This alludes to a letter which he had the g-oodnessto 
write to me last summer before the recess of the Ex- 
ecutive in answer to my application for leave of ab- 
sence. The greater part of my letter to the Secty. 
of the Treasy. is on business. It contains the follow- 
ing- paragraph. 

**In conducting, for six years past, the business of 
an office distinguished for the labor and responsibility 
which it imposes my first object has constantly been 
fidelity to the public, the second, a respectful deport- 
ment towards those with whom it was my duty to 
maintain official intercourse. It will afford me no 
small degree of gratification to understand that I 
have succeeded in these to your satisfaction." 

Mr. Macon. 

* Salisbury and its neighborhood were for many years much 
afflicted with malaria. The existence of a large mill-pond 
was thought to have been the guilty cause. The great im- 
provement in health since its abolition points to the truth of 
the theory. 

Grove to Steele. 

Fayetteville Oct. 1st 1802 
My Dear Sir 

I returned yesterday from Hillsboro where I went 
on the 6th Sept. with Mrs G on a visit to her friends, 
on my return I found in the Post office your favor of 
the 16th ult. which gave me the first information of 
your return home, altho' I made inquiry after you 
while in Orange. I hope your family have recovered 
since you wrote, & that you continue to enjoy good 
health in your native clime tho' Salisbury is loosing 
its reputation of being healthy. 

From your letter & the copy of the one to the head 
of your Department, which you done me the favor to 
inclose for my perusal, I perceive with regret that 
you have new cause to be dissatisfied with your sit- 
uation in the Govt. 


As soon as I read the report of the Investigating^ 
discriminating & criminating- Committee, I could not 
help seeing the deep cut made at the Former Treas- 
ury Depart. From the temper and Views of the 
majority of the Committee, it was to be apprehended 
they would seize on every Possible case to injure the 
feeling & reputation of the former Administ. but 
from the Examination & report of the Committee of 
the session before last, on the Treasury Depart, I did 
suppose the new investigation would find little to add, 
as to that branch of the Government, but in the spirit 
of the times, they have wisely and economically dis- 
covered, that for want of their legal and saving con- 
struction of the acts of Congress, monies have been 
disbursed without an act of appropriation, of course 
these monies should be refunded, & they the Com- 
mittee appointed as a Standing Board of expounders 
— 1 — The contempt mixed with indignation which 
that late Report excited in me induced me to think, 
that the men of sense and decency of their party 
would condemn it, as a crude, partial, & ignorant pro- 
duction — & that tho' they might for political reasons 
wink at its censure, I did not presume that the head 
of any Depart, would sanction & adopt the report as 
the rule of their office — I am really sorry to find there 
is reason to believe it otherwise, & that the present 
Head of the Treasury in the case of ' Woodside is dis- 
posed to give a new construction to the Law, so as 
to produce a clashing of opinion Between your Judge- 
ment & former decisions, and his own — If this dffer- 
cnce of opinion on the meaning of Law, arises alone 
from the honest & impartial Judgment of the Sec- 
retary, or is unconnected with any other cause or 
motive than a desire to construe Laws fairly, I can 
not think it should add to your inducements to leave 
the Department — of this you alone can best judge — 
But while you are permitted to act and think inde- 
pendently on your own judgmejit and sentiments, 
& are treated with that delicacy and attention due to 
your success, your character & your situation, I most 
earnestly wish you to continue in office — If this is not 
the case, I know you too well, to suppose you would 
act with any set of men. 

We have no news here, and were it not for the rail- 


ing-s and abuse of "* Duane, ^Callender, &c. against 
each other, we should find the papers dull, but these 
fellows unfold some things wt>rth knowing respecting 
the falsehood & knavery which has been g'oing- on 
among them, & are fulfilling two thing's, that Dog 
will eat Dog; and that when rog-ues fall out honest 
men come to their right. 

I am very certain you join me in regretting- — sin- 
cerely regretting the fate of poor * Spaight. He has 
fallen a sacrifice to his own violence of temper, for he 
might havfe adjusted his dispute with honor, without 
going to extremities. 

Flour will probably continue about 5 to 6$ — Cotton 
from $12 to 15$ per cwt, picked — 3 to 3l4 per cwt. in 
seed — and indeed I fear that all kinds of produce will 
be low compared to late years — ^ Shells are generally 
to«be had here at }i to >8d per Bushl. —lime is dearer 
& scarce. 

Mrs Grove desires to be united with me in a tender 
of our best respects to yourself, & Family, and par- 
ticularly to Miss Ann 

Believe me My Dear Sir 

With real esteem & regard 

Yrs Sincerely 
(John Steele Esq) W. B. Grove 


' Decision of Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury, relating to 
drawbacks on sug-ar. 

'William Duane, from 1795 to 1822 editor of the leading- 
Democratic paper, the Aurora, of Philadelphia. 

^ Thomas Callender, convicted by the influence of Judge 
Samuel Chase for passages in his pamphlet, *'the Prospect 
before us," which were construed to be libellous under the 
Sedition law. President Jefferson pardoned him. 

^Ex-Governor Richard Dobbs Spaight, killed by John 
Stanly in a duel. The Federalists, as a rule, sustained Stanly. 
The Republicans declared that Spaight was in the right and 
that Stanly (a Federalist) was a murderer. Stanly was 
pardoned by Governor Benjamin Williams. The quarrel 
occurred in their canvass for Congress. 

'Oyster and other shells were, at that date, bought in bulk 


and burned for lime. They were hauled by wagon from 
Fayetteville to Chapel Hill for that purpose. 

Macon to Steele, 

Buck Spring 10 Octr. 1802. 

Yours of the 30 ultimo has been received, and it is 
with real sorrow that I learn of your determination 
to resign. The reason which produces the resigna- 
tion is surely a cogent one, but I think it probable 
that the season is approaching which will restore 
your family to health, and then you might with con- 
venience have removed them to Washington; The 
office of Comptroller is surely among the most impor- 
tant in the U. S., especially as it relates to revenue; 
besides this, the settling accounts with foreigners, is 
one in which both the interest and honor of the nation 
are concerned; nor can I close this sentence without 
repeating my sincere regret at your resignation; who 
will be your successor I cannot even guess, no doubt 
many may be found willing enough to accept the 
office who know nothing of the duties; and I devout- 
ly wish that a successor' may be found, adequate in 
all respects to the office; I know from the best 
authority that the President was highly pleased 
with your conduct, but I am repeating what I have 
before told 

The hot foggy weather has injured tobacco in some 
instances by moulding it, The crop will not be large, 
nor of extraordinary quality, Cotton it is said prom- 
ises well. The crop of corn is generally good 

I wish more than ever to see you, but God alone 
knows when this will be, Had I the time to spare I 
would take a trip* to Salisbury 

1 am with perfect respect 

Sir yrs. sincerely 

Nathl Macon. 
(Mr. John Steele 

Now at Salisbury 
No. Carolina) 


' Steele's successor was Gabriel Duval, who was Comp- 


troller until 1811. He was a Representative in Congress 1794- 
96, then Judge of the Supreme Court of Maryland. In 1811 
he was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United 
States and held the office until 1836. 

" By the travelling methods of that day a journey to and 
from Salisbury took about ten days, provided there were no 
freshets in the streams. These might delay the traveller 
much longer. 

Steele to Macon, 

Salisbury April 11th 1803 
Dear Sir, 

By Major Williams who left this place at the close 
■ of our court I wrote you a few lines in which I omit- 
ted to remind you of your promise to see me in the 
course of the ensuing summer. Nothing I assure you 
would give me more pleasure than to take you by the 
hand at my hut, and our girls hope you will favor 
them with the company of your daughter at the same 
time. They will do everything in their power to 
make her time while here pass agreeably. In return 
for a few weeks of your own society I will treat you 
with some of the Visions of a cidevant. A station in 
the background you know sometimes affords views 
not altogether uninteresting to those engaged in the 
busy scenes of the front ranks. The only merit of 
mine is that they have been formed with calmness 
and deliberation. ' There is one important subject 
on which I cannot forbear to give you a few hints in 
anticipation. A gor)d deal of reflection since has con- 
firmed me in the opinion I expressed to you about a 
year ago. The reasons in support of that opinion 
wd. be too long for a letter by post. I allude to the 
Mandamus, and the fashionable doctrine which it 
was made use of to establish, that the courts have 
power to pronounce Acts of Congress unconstitutional 
and void. There is a remarkable coincidence in the 
arguments lately published of ^Mr. Lee and the 
Chief Justice.* To whom the credit of originating 
and digesting them belongs is not perhaps material. 
Between them they have made the most of the occa- 


sion. Logicians in the forum like Partizans in the 
field show their skill by passinji^ the strong- and se- 
lecting the weaker points of attack. 

It is certainly a sound principle that in a well or- 
ganized government of Laws as we believe ours to be 
every wrong shd. have its proper remedy. If this 
principle can be shown to have its effect in the cases 
stated by the Chief Justice the necessity for judicial 
interference will not exist, as all the arguments in 
favor of such interference are predicated on hypoth- 
esis that an injury has been done to the applicants by 
the Executive and that they are without remedy ex- 
cept from the Judiciary. This is the point which the 
Chief Justice and the learned counsel pretended to 
examine. By the theory of our Government the Leg- 
islature, the Executive & Judicial departments are in 
a certain degree, or for certain purix)ses distinct. It 
is inaccurate to suppose them equal in trust, or in 
power. The officers who compose the President's 
council are his constitutional advisers and with him 
form what is denominated the Executive. Should 
the Secty. of State a constituent part of this great de- 
partment do wrong in his official capacity to an indi- 
vidual or the public with or without the sanction of 
the President the intimate relation which the con- 
stitution supposes to exist between him and the Pres- 
ident may be dissolved by removal or impeachment 
after which he is amenable to the Judicial authority 
in the form of an indictment and perhaps by civil 
process. Until that connection be dissolved the offi- 
cial acts of a Secty. of State are to be regarded as the 
acts of the President. With respect to them he stands 
on Executive ground not examinable by the Judiciary. 
The courts have no constitutional power to inquire 
whether (for instance) a patent for land be wrong- 
fully or rightfully withheld. If withheld the first step 
of a purchaser supposing himself entitled shd. be by 
petition to the President, afterwards if redress be re- 
fused by petition to the house of Repvs. where im- 
peachments originate. The remedies in the power 
of these two authorities to afford cannot fail to be 
effectual, the course to be pursued to obtain them is 
plain and consistent with the most obvious principles 
of our Govt. It avoids that worst of political evils a 


war of Departments, and the disorganization and 
public injury which such collisions produce in a coun- 
try where opinion is free if neither of the contending 
authorities (as is the case with the Executive and the 
Judiciary) be in relation to the other paramount, and 
if one of them as the Chief Justice has avowed shd. 
refuse to acknowledge the Legislature as the com- 
mon and rightly superior of both. Admit the right 
of the supreme court to step on Executive ground in 
the case of a patent or a pension and you subject at 
once the Comptr. to judicial discipline and all the 
vast concerns of the Treasy. to the revision of a de- 
partment which in theory is the third but in practice 
aims at becoming the first power of the state. With 
respect then to the particular case of Mr. Marbury 
& others they cannot in my humble opinion demand 
either their commissions or transcripts from the rec- 
ords of the Secty. of State as matters of right and 
after the opinion given by the court that a transcript 
would be of equal validity with the original it would 
be wrong to furnish it as matter of courtesy. It was 
here that the Chief Justice showed his skill in pass- 
ing over the most formidable objection without no- 
tice. Both he and the learned counsel treated it in 
their argument as a point conceded that the Justices 
ofthe peace for the district of Columbia are Judges in 
the sense of the Constitution. The law which pro- 
. vides for their appointment contains the refutation 
of this opinion. They are to be commissioned for 
five years and not during good behavior. There are 
but two descriptions of tenures by which ofl&ces are 
held under the constitution. All offices must be of 
one or the other. If the Justices are Judges in the 
sense of the constitution the law which limits their 
appointment to five years is tinconstitutional^ and of 
course according to the Chief Justice void. Any ten- 
ure different from that prescribed by the constitution 
''during good behavior''^ would be so. If they are 
not Judges in this sense they are like other officers 
removable by the President. The law can not be 
valid and void at the same time, good to vest the 
power of Judges but void as to the limitations of 
their authority. This is too great an absurdity to 
be seriously maintained, and yet without recurrence 


to some such fiction it is diflScult to perceive on what 
foundation the title of the Justices of the peace for 
the district of Columbia to hold their oflSces inde- 
pendently of the will of the Executive rests. It can- 
not be from the nature of the duties to be performed 
else the Comptr. Auditor, Accountants, Commrs. un- 
der certain laws and treaties wd. be equally indepen- 
dent for they all perform duties in a certain degree 
judicial, and in some points of view much more im- 
portant to society. The act which provides for this 
appointment must then be presumed the only founda- 
tion of their independence and this proves as clearly 
as a point caoi be proved by implication that they 
were not to be regarded as Judges in the sense of the 
constitution and that the term of five years was fixed 
for their service merely that the Executive depart- 
ment might at stated periods review the roll and leave 
out such as age or other causes had rendered unfit 
without recurring to the painful alternative of re- 

The President is said to derive the power of remov- 
ing all officers not commissioned to hold their offices 
during good behavior from the constitution, if so ac- 
cording to the maxims of the Chief Justice an act to 
divest him of that power or to restrain the exercise of 
it in terms wd. be unconstitutional and void. The 
consent of the President to such an act wd. be equally 
unconstitutional because Congress even with his ap- 
probation cannot alter the constitution. In England 
it is otherwise. But even there **the King is not bound 
by any act of parliament unless he be named therein 
by special and particular words. The most general 
words that can be devised affect not him in the least 
if they may tend to restrain or diminish any of his 
rights or interests: — for it wd. be of the most mis- 
chievous consequence to the public if the Executive 
power were liable to be curtailed without its own ex- 
press consent by constructions and implications." The 
limitation of five years then cannot create an inde- 
pendence of the Executive to whom it exclusively ap- 
pertains as incident to the power of Appointment to 
determine when and how vacancies happen free of 
any kind or degree of responsibility to the judicial 
department and consequently a right to demand the 


Commissions, or transcripts of them, or to exercise in 
virtue of either the authorities of Justices of the 
peace contrary to the will of the President is without 
foundation. A case exactly in point occurred not 
long- since in Pennsylvania. The present Gov. re- 
moved an officer, I think the Adjt. Genl who held his 
appointment under a law which fixed the tenure to a 
term of years like that of the Justices of the Ds. of 
Columbia. There was moreover a salary attached to 
this office which in a state where rights are so well 
understood and so highly valued as in Pennsylvania 
wd. not have been yielded if a power to revise and 
correct the procedure had been supposed to exist in 
the courts. However men may differ in their opinions 
as to the expediency and perhaps the justice of some 
parts of Mr. McKeans political conduct all I believe 
agree in paying homage to his professional knowl- 
edge and it is for this reason only that the case is 

Can the Judge, by Judicial sentence pronounce Acts 
of Congress unconstitutional and void? This is a 
power so transcendent and calculated to alter so es- 
sentially the relations which difft. departms. of Gov- 
ernment bear to each other that it shd. have some 
better foundation than the constructive inferences of 
those who claim and are to exercise it. By the the- 
ory of our Govt, the three great depts. are distinct 
though not equal. The Legislature in the nature of 
things is supreme because it not only prescribes rules 
of action but possesses independently of the other de- 
partments the power of compelling obedience. Its 
members moreover are under the same solemn obliga- 
tion to do right and support the constitution invio- 
late, and possess the same right to determine in their 
legislative capacity the meaning of its doubtful parts, 
that the Judgfes do in their official capacity. That 
both Houses of the Legislature formed as they are, 
the Presidents and heads of Depts. shd. be more lia- 
ble to be mistaken or more disposed to violate it than 
perhaps a bare majority of the Judges of the supreme 
court is not to be conceded. Whence then originates 
the ermr in supposing that the judges possess this 
new & gigantic power? I answer, in ihe facility 
with which small bodies of men can be brought to 



embrace an opinion favorable to their own digiiity 
and official influence, to the common interest which 
g-entlemen of the law feel throug-hout our country in 
extending- their sphere of action by increasing the 
jurisdiction of the judicial dept. and as a necessary 
consequence the chances of litigation — but above all 
to inaccurate notions which are perhaps the offspring 
of the foregoing combination concerning the original 
distribution of the powers by the constitution and 
the indulgence with which that Dept. on accot of its 
weakness has been regarded by a generous people. 
If a bill having passed thro the forms of both houses 
shd. be returned by the President because he deemed 
it unconstitutional, two thirds of each house aftds. 
concurring it becomes a law the opinion of the Exec- 
utive notwithstanding and the Secty.of State must re- 
ceive and deposit it among the rolls accordingly. 
Can it be presumed that a prerogative defined with 
scrupulous exactness and limited in reference to the 
second department of (iovt. shM have been intended 
by the convention to be confided to the third by im- 
plication in a sense as broad too as the most express 
words could convey it. A doctrine so entirely unsup- 
portexl by reason and analogy cannot stand the test of 
e^^amination. How then it may be asked are the 
Judges of the Supreme Court to act in cases where 
they conscientiously believe the law and consti- 
tution to be at variance? 1st they sh'd suspend their 
decision and present to the President a respectful rep- 
resentation for the purpose of having the attention of 
the Legislature called to the subject. If after con- 
sidering the representation of the Judges an attempt 
be made to repeal the law without success, or if a ses- 
sion be allowed to pass without repeal or modifi- 
cation it then becomes the duty of the Supreme Court 
to acquiesce in the same manner as an inferior tri- 
bunal is bound to yield obedience to a superior. It is 
hence the difficulty originates. The Supreme Court 
cannot regard the Legislature as a superior tribunal 
and until its superiority is established decisively the 
question will remain unsettled. The solemn mockery 
of ihe oath applies equally to the members of the 
Legislature and of the P^xecutive who were concerned 
in the passing as to the Judges and officers whose 


duty it may be to execute a law which the latter may 
deem unconstitutional. A district Judge for instance 
may conscientiously believe a tax on carriagfes uncon- 
stitutional yet if adjudged to be otherwise by the 
Supreme Court he is bound to yield acquiescence and 
give it execution. It is equally clear that the 
Supreme Court owes and may be compelled to yield 
similar obedience to the deliberate and solemn acts of 
the Legislature the highest and most august tribunal 
of a free country. Order and the genuine relations 
of Govt, cannot long be preserved in any other way. 


' Probably Marmaduke Williams of Caswell, who was elected 
to the State Senate in 1802 and the next year to the House of 
Representatives of the United States. He served until 1809, 
and then removed to Alabama, where ho was a delegate to 
the convention which formed the State Constitution. In his 
old age he was County Judge. 

"In the case of Marbury vs Madison, Secretary of State, the 
Supreme Court held that the plaintiff, having been appointed 
Justice of the Peace for the District of Columbia by the Presi- 
dent and the Senate having approved the nomination, the 
commission having been duly signed and sealed and left b}^ the 
late Secretary undelivered, was entitled to his commission, 
and that mandamus should lie to compel the delivery by the 
new Secretary of State, but that the act giving the Supreme 
Court original jurisdiction was unconstitutional. Although 
the power and duty of the Court to nullify unconstitutional 
acts is now universally conceded, able men in that day thought 
otherwise. General Steele's letters gives their line of argu- 

3 Charles Lee, Attorney General 1795 to 1801. He had been 
Delegate from Virginia to the Continental Congress. 

^ Chief Justice John Marshall of Virginia. He advocated 
in the convention of 1788, the adoption of the Federal Consti- 
tution; Envoy to France with Gerry and C. C. Pinckney in 
1797; Congressman 1799-1800; Secretary of State 1800-'01; 


Chief Justice of the United States, 1801 to his death, July 6 
1835. Author of Life of Washington. 

Macon to Steele. 

Raleigh 11 June 1803 

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your two let- 
ters the one by Major Williams, the other postpaid, 
The last received at Washington, I think was an- 
swered, though of this I am not certain; The great 
hurry of business and the very constant and lengthy 
sittings of the house may possible have made me 
neglect to answer, The house was very seldom in 
committee of the whole, and were in session from nine 
to eleven hours for a few of the last days; The fa- 
tigue occasioned by this constant delay, had nearly 
overcome me, though having relectuntly undertaken 
the task, I had at lirst determined not to yeild to any 
duty but the absolute loss of health, in this determi- 
nation in every circumstance I uniformly persisted, 
and was for a short time after the adjournment really 
apprehensive, that my constitution was considerably 
injured, but this apprehension was soon entirely re- 
moved, and I have since enjoyed my usual good 

I have duly considered the contents of your last 
letter, and candidly acknowledge that I think there 
is great strength in your arguments, but my doubts 
are not completely removed, cases may be stated to 
shew that the court did not possess the power to de- 
clare a particular act unconstitutional, other cases 
might be stated in which it would s^em that they had 
the power; of the first kind is the law to apportion 
representatives, The pay of Members of Con- 
gress, The articU s of war for land & naval ser- 
vice &c.&c.; Because none oi these require their 
aid to carry tliem into execution; of other kind is the 
power of the supremo court to hear any original suit, 
when the authority is not derived from the constitu- 
tion, such an action for debt between the two citi- 
*zens of the same state &c. &c. These would require 
their aid to carry them into operation. The court 


must make every declaration of the unconstitutional- 
ity of a law at their peril; because the judg^es are 
made accountable for their conduct by the constitu- 
tion, & if Judges could declare acts void; without 
being liable for their actions, they would be the su- 
preme authority of the nation, and that without con- 
troul — and the only department in the Government 
where a power might be exercised to any degree, 
without the least check or controul by any other de- 
partment of the Government; I confess the mode fur 
the Judges to proceed, where they believe a law vio- 
lates the constitution, as pointed out by you, would 
be the most adviseable, and liable to the least objec- 
tion, both in practice and theory, but the true ques- 
tion is have the courts the power from the constitu- 
tion of the U. S. to declare a law unconstitutional; 
In the case of the mandamus, the opinion of the Court 
as to the result was correct; the rule was discharged, 
but the reasoning which lead to the conclusion, 
seems to be directly opposed to it, and put me, in 
mind of a noted member of Congress who always 
spoke on one side, and voted on the other, if they had 
no power to determine on the merits of the complaint 
they had no authority to grant the rule in the first 
instance, and the mandamus ought not to have been 
issued, the argument on which the question seemed 
to be decided, had nothing to do with the question, 
but certainly had a squinting towards another, al- 
though I am not quite convert to your opinion as to 
the power of the Judges, I most cordially agree with 
you as to the Mandamus 

I fear it will not be in my power, to visit you at 
Salisbury this summer, inclination is not wanting, 
and it is almost too strong to be resisted by poverty 
and inconvenience; besides the pleasure of seeing you 
and family, I could say much to you in the small way, 
which is too little to put in a letter, and would beur 
telling when it would not writing 

I have written this in haste, without revising and 
without your letters by me, I mean this is an expla- 
nation if one should be necessary for not perhaps an- 
swering in every point, but an apoligy I hope neces- 
sary, and I will not attempt to make one Permit 

me my friend to say to you, that I had rather you 


would have not paid the postage of your letter, be- 
tween us it seems almost too formal, I am well aware 
that it proceeded from great delicacy but I cannot help 
thinking, that you doubted whether to pay it or not, 
I will own to you, that I have often doubted that to 
do on like occasions. Write often and postage or no 
IX)stage I will not scold you again, unless it be for 
not writing 

Be pleased to offer my best respects to your family 
and believe me to be with sincere regard 

Sir yr. most obt sert- 
Nathl Macon 
(Mr. Steele) 


'Probably Gen.Sam'l Smith of Maryland ;Colonel in the Revo- 
lutionary war; U.S. Representative in Congress, 179S-1803; and 
1810-'22; Senator 1803-'15 and 1822-'33. Commanded the 
Maryland troops in the defence of Baltimore in 1814 and 
quelU'd the Baltimore riot of 1835, 

Mr. Macon was usually accurate. This ''always" is evi- 
dently an exaggeration. 

Steele to Macon. 

Salisbury Sept 12th 1803 
Dear Sir 

Accept my thanks for your favor of the 7th ulto. 
It came to hand when I was a good deal occupied 
with workmen in superintending some necessaryalt- 
erations of the inside parts of my house which could 
only be done during the season when chimnies are 
not in use. This is my apology for not acknowledging 
it sooner. 

It is natural that you shd. feel a little curiosity to 
know the fate of my essay in Toast making. I will 
endeavor to gratify it. On Friday evening preceding 
the 4th of July a very heavy rain fell at Lethe my 
river plantation where I had a considerable qunty. of 
wheat cut &l in the field ex[)()sed to injury. This 
obliged me to go there instead of meeting the com- 
mittee on Saturday morning the time appointed. I 


however apologized for my absence by a note, and 
transmitted for their consideration the sketch which 
you have seen and which I am happy to find meets 
your approbation. The members of the Committee 
all attended except myself, chose Judge Macay ' for 
their Chairman, proceeded to business. Of the seven- 
teen which I submitted they adopted six without al- 
teration. These were the 1st. The day &ca. 6th. 
Foreign nations in amity &ca. with a quotation from 
Mr. Jeffersons inaugeration speech 11th. The militia 
&ca. A nation armed &ca. 14th The Press &':a. 16th. 
The fair sex &C'd. I7th. The State of Ohio &ca. 
Others they adopted in part but with alterations 
which can hardly be called improvements. The 2nd. 
7th. 13th. 15th. they rejected altogether. To the 3rd. 
TAe Fed, constitution they annexed a sentiment in- 
correct in principle and in language. It was this. 
The paladium of our rights, let it never be violated. 
(The paladium of Troy from whence the term de- 
scended was in the sense of the Trogans incapable of 
violation.) The true paladium of our rights consists 
in our sense of their nature and value; in our virtue 
to chuse proper persons to represent us, and last of 
all in our swords. It is absurd to say that our rights 
are dependent on the Fed. constitution. We were 
free before it existed as now, perhaps not quite so 
tranquil. Instead of the 4th they substituted the mem- 
ory of Genl. W. In favor of this alteration I under- 
stood it was urged by ' Mr. H. that to connect with 
that name, any other name or description of charac- 
ters wd. derogate from the respect due to it, as if he 
could have accomplished any thing without the co- 
operation of others Instead of the 5th They adopted 
simply **the President of the U. S." without even 
using the name of Mr. Jefferson. From the 8th They 
expurged the words *' Governor and and adopted the 
remainder which was in substance the same but like 
the 5th not quite so resi>ectful to the chief magistrate. 
Instead of the 9th & 12th some general, commonplace 
sentiments in favor of learning & commerce were 
adopted. Of the lOlh the adopted the first part. The 
absence of party spirit and rejec ted w h a t f ol 1 o wed . ( I 
regret that it was the fate of some of the best to be 
totally lost, or so mutilated as not to be worth 


publication). The 14th mig-bt be improved by the al- 
teration which you sug^^est and I sincerely wish that 
good men would quite to correct the evil upon your 
plan which appears to be the only practicable way. 
The g^reater part of the committee! understand were 
but Mr. H. from whom the opposition chiefly came was 
strenuous to retain some of those which were rejected; 
and they compromised for the sake of unan- 
imity, and as a compliment to other members who 
also had been at the trouble to prepare sketches for 
the consideration of the committee. They compli- 
mented me by the atloption of more than my propor- 
tion, and probably if 1 had been present a few more 
wd. have been reed, and perhaps fewer alterations 

I have seen the charg"e of Jud|^e Chase* as published 
in the Nat. Intelligencer. It is extra Judicial and in 
humble opinion extremely indecorous; but if there 
were no other objections to it, on the score of principle 
it wd. be indefensible. Men in hi^h public stations 
shd. be careful to guard ag;t. the influence of their 
passions always apt to mislead the understanding, if 
not corrupt the heart. The* opinions of some of the 
Judges^on other subjects are so inaccurate c.nd prepos- 
terous that I am not surprised at this, my only wish 
is that friend Moore' may prove as I am sure he will 
like pure gold, the more bright for being tried in such 
a crucible. Mr. Patterson ' I consider also a man of 
sterling integrity; of some of the others you have 
long known my deliberate opinions. It is useless to 
repeat them. 

The purchase of Louisiana is certainly a great 
aflfair. It will give lustre to to the administration 
which achieved it. Future Historians will rank it, 
(like the declaration of Independence the treaty of 
peace, the adoption of the Fedl. constitution) among 
the memorable events of our country, and shd. we 
also obtain the Floridas the acquisition will be as im- 
portant in its consequences as any of them. The 
sum® to be given is large, but not too much. To 
have taken possession of the fortifications and other 
establishments necessary to retain it by force wd. 
have required much more. To think correctly on the 
expense of military enterprises we shd. call to oui rec- 


ollection the experience we have had in erecting* forti- 
fications on the sea coast, in the Pittsburg"' & No 
Hampton expeditions, in prosecuting Indian wars, to 
say nothing- of the delays and disgrace which have 
attended them. It is no disparagement to the pacific 
plan of the President that our Envoy arrived at a 
fortunate crisis. It is always the part of a statesman 
as it is of a Genl . to watch events and to profit by them; 
but even there it is ascribable wholly to accident, as it 
is the way of the world to make a man responsible for 
his bad, they shd. also give him credit for his g-ood 
fortune. A few days ago I was imperceptibly led in- 
to a warm dispute with a Federalist an acquaintance 
of yours on the question whether the British Govt, 
wd. not be justified in taking possession of New- 
orleans at any time before the ratification of the 
treaty by our senate. A good deal was said on both 
sides, but I endeavoured to conclude the argument by 

placing it on this simple footing Were the 

French competent to sell? Yes. Were we competent 
to purchase. Yes. A fair sale and a purchase being 
made by competent parties, on the 30th of April a 
time too of general peace*, any attempt by the British 
Govt, to prevent the execution of the contract by 
taking forcible possession of the place purchased wd. 
be an aggression which wd. justify war on the part 
of the U. S. He maintained however to the last that 
a treaty is of no validity until ratified, and as we are 
not bound to pay until the ratification we could not be 
injured by an event which wd. afford sufft. reason to 
refuse both. This was departing from the question, 
because shd. such an occurrence take place, we wd. 
nevertheless be at liberty to ratify and withhold pay- 
ment until possession, which the french Govt, could 
not think unreasonable, or perhaps under such circum- 
stances that Govt, might authorize the application 
of the purchase money towards dispossessing the In- 
truder. This wd. be a subject for subsequent negoti- 
ation, and not necessarily connected with the ratifi- 
cation. Another reason has been stated here which 
I have since seen hinted at in some of the papers to 
justify the British Govt, in such an interference, that 
the i^rivileges secured to P and Spanish Vessels ex- 
cusively of all others are contrary to the stipulation 


of the Treaty of London which guarantees to the 
subjects of Great Britain in our ports the privili- 
ges of the most favored nation. Without contend- 
ing that the stipulation in favor of F. & Sp. bottoms 
is not a favor granted but a consideration of the ces- 
sion, or rather a reservation of certain rights for a 
limited period by a nation possessing at the time 
and about to yield a complete sovereignty, it may be 
replied that the treaty of London contains a provision 
in favor of british vessels of Canada in the No. Wt. 
ports of the U. S. exactly similar where the reason 
did not apply with near so much force as in the pres- 
ent case. See the article. A favor which we did not 
grant to F. V. in any of our ports nor even to B. V. 
except in the No. W. ports; this altho objected among 
ourselves as an unconstitutional provision was never 
I believe complained of by France; having no existing 
rights she could not reasonably object to an arrange- 
ment which deprived her of none and had for its ob- 
ject only the local accomodation of another, then 
with respect to those ports, like Britain now with res- 
pect to the ports within the Mississippi, A nation 
about to cede has a right to make its conditions, and 
there is certainly a clear distinction between a terri- 
tory received under such conditions, and favors grant- 
ed in the ordinary course of commercial arrangement. 
G. Britain having no actual participation in the trade 
of the Mississippi before could not I think have com- 
plained even if the treaty of cession had obliged us 
to exclude her vessels altogether but this would have 
been a departure from our system of policy which I 
hope always will continue to be ''liberal commerce 
with all nations, entani>lin^ alliances with notie.^'^ 
There is however one stipulation in this treaty which 
I sincerely lament, because I am sure it will increase 
the difficulties of the Secy, of the Treasy. I mean the 
payment of the interest (of the stock to be created) in 
Europe. I suppose it must have been either insisted 
on by the F. Govt, or [)erhaps inadvertently agreed 
to by Mr. Livingston, It is for other reasons, beside 
the difficulties of remitting, an unfortunate part of 
the contract. 

The foregoing is the copy of Gen. Steele, s letter retained 
by him. We have not the original. 


Drafts respectfully submitted to the consideration 

of the committee appointed to prepare thera for the 

4th July 1803, 

1st. The day. — Perpetuity to the principle of the rev- 
olution which it commemorates. — 

2nd. The United States. — Common interest their 
best cement. — 

3rd. The Federal constitution. — A good form of Gov- 
ernment prepared for us by wise men in the spirit 
of mutual concession. — 

4th. Our late illustrious fellow citizen George Wash- 
ington and the long list of Statesmen and Heroes 
who cooperated with him in the establishment of 
American independence. — 

5th. Thomas Jefferson President of the United States, 
and the Majorities of both houses of Congress. — 
Let the reflection that they are invested with 
powers delegated by the whole people inspire 
them with sentiments of justice and moderation 
and their political opponents with those of ac- 
quiescence and respect. — 

6th. Foreign nations in amity with the United States. 
— Liberal commerce with all, entangling alliance 
with none. — 

7th. The people of North Carolina. — Happy under a 
form of Government in theory simple, in practice 
safe and economical. — 

8th. The Governor and Constituted authorities of 
North Carolina. — 

9th. Our University and other institutions for the in- 
struction of youth. It shd. never be forgotten 
that knowledge and virtue are the best preserva- 
tives of civil liberty. — 

10th. The absence of party spirit. — Wherefore shd. 
it exist? **We are all republicans and all Fed- 

11th. (Public arsenals in proper situation adequate 
to the complete equipment of) The Militia. — A 
nation armed united and free is invincible. 

12th. Agriculture, commerce, and manufactures. — 
Extension, and security to them all, they are the 
great sources of american prosperity. 

13th. Public credit and the public debt. — An honor- 
able performance of our legal engagements will 


increase the one by the reg-ular and speedy ex- 
tinction of the other. 

14th. The Press. — Let us learn to distinguish be- 
tween its freedom and licentiouness. — 

15th. Our rights on the Mississippi. Should diplo- 
matic means fail Government may safely trust 
the final issue to god, and the energies of a peo- 
ple who will neither do nor suffer injustice. — 

19th. The fair sex. — Without participation in public 
affairs their dominion is in the hearts of their 

I7th. Our Sister State Ohio.— [The day is not distant 
when her importance to the Union (as a frontier) 
will be known and appreciated] — Young in years 
but growing fast into importance. 


' Spruce McCoy, a Judge of the Superior Courts of Law and 
Equity in North Carolina 1790 to 1808. 

=* Archibald Henderson, son of Richard Henderson, who was 
a Judge prior to the Revolution, and brother of Chief Justice 
Leonard Henderson. He was the leader of the bar of Kowan, 
and Representative in Congress 1799 to 1803; a Federalist. 

^The Governor thus '*scratched" was a Republican, James 
Turner, of Warren county. He was elected thrice, 1802-'05. 
At the close of his term as Governor, he was chosen to be 
United States Senator and served until 1816. Further notice 
of him is given elsewhere. 

* Samuel Chase, of Maryland, Judge of the Supreme Court 
of United States, 1796-1813. His charge to the Grand Jury 
of Baltimore, May 2nd, 1803, was extremely obnoxious to the 
Republicans. He declared that the repeal by Congress of the 
law for the election of sixteen circuit judges, the establish- 
ment of universal suffrage in Maryland and further alteration 
in the state judiciary contemplated, will take away all secur- 
ity for property and personal liberty. '*The independence of 
the national judiciary was already shaken to its foundation. 
Our constitution will be a mobocracy. the worst of all pos- 
sible governments," and more to the same effect.. 


The impeachment ^against Judge Chase alleged injustice, 
partiality and intemperate conduct and language. There 
were eight articles. The first alleged misconduct in the trial 
of Fries, the next five similar outrageous conduct in the trial 
of Callender for libel; the seventh charged wrong-doing in 
refusing to dismiss the grand jury until they should indict a 
printer for treason, and Article VIII. characterized the charge 
to the grand jury at. Baltimore as a prostitution of the judic- 
iary to low partisan purposes, with intent to arouse hatred 
against the government of Maryland and of the United 

Twenty three votes for conviction were necessary, as it 
takes two-thirds to convict. On the first article only 16 out 
of 34 voted guilty; on the second only 10; on the third 18; on 
the fourth, not one; on the fifth only 6; on the sixth 10; on 
the seventh 10; on the eighth 19. 

Samuel Chase was a signer of the Declaration of Indepen- 
dience, an ardent and useful patriot, an extreme Federalist, an 
able lawyer, but of overbearing disposition. 

5 The other Judges were besides Chief Justice Marshall, 
1801-'35, William Cushing, of Massachusetts, 1789-1815, 
William Paterson (so spelled), of New Jersey, 1793-1806, 
Alfred Moore, of North Carolina, 1799-1804. 

* Alfred Moore had been a Captain in the Revolution, and 
Attorney General and Judge of North Carolina. 

^ Wm. Paterson, had been member of the Continental Con- 
gress and U. S. Senator. In the Convention of 1787 he was 
author of the "New Jersey Plan," which guarded the sov- 
ereignty of the States. 

^The price was $11,250,000 in United States stock payable 
in fifteen years, and also $3,350,000 due by the French gov- 
ernment for depredations on our commerce; in all $15,000,000. 
The purchase was supposed to contain over a million squ2^re 
miles, that is, over 640,000,000 acres, about twenty three 
cents an acre. The white inhabitants were about 50,000 of 
French and Spanish birth and 40,000 slaves. The treaty was 


negotiated with Napoleon by Robert R. Livinfj^ston, but Mon- 
roe, being sent by Jefferson specially for the purpose, joined 
with him in completing the negotiation. 

' Mr. Steele probably refers to the expenses of suppressing 
the Whiskey Insurrection in Pennsylvania and Shay's Rebel- 
lion in Massachusetts. 

Macon to Steele, 

Washington 27 Novr. 1803 

I write to you now, not because I have anything 
worth writing, but because I hope it will be the 
means of inducing you to give me the news of Salis- 
bury, This place affords nothing new, which you 
will not find in every news paper; The vote to re- 
peal the Bankrupt act,' was not a party one, & the 
few who opposed the repeal, were not, one excepted, 
in favor of the principle, but wished it amended and 
to expire by its own limitation 

It IS believed; that it will be known here, in 15 or 
20 days, either that the U. S, are in possession of 
New Orleans; or that the Spanish Government'' there 
will not deliver it to the U. S, no fact is yet known 
here to induce a belief, that it will not be surren- 
dered; every thing tranquil at New Orleans as late 
as 11-instant, no act at that day done, which indicat- 
ed the least hostile intention 

I cannot think of any thing else to write, and were 
I to see you it is possible, a thousand small affairs 
might come to m}' recollection which mig^ht serve to 
excite laughter 

I am with great respect 

Sir Yr. most obt sert 

Nathl Macon 
(General Steele 

No Carolina) 


'Passed April 8, 1800. Repealed October, 1803. It was 
thought to be "prolific of fraud, wastefulness and a wild 


Spirit of speculation." The vote for repeal in the House was 
99 to 13. 

•In 1682, LaSalle took possession of the territory and 
named it after Louis XIV. Bienville founded New Orleans 
in 1706. In 1762, France ceded the territory to Spain. In 
1800, Spain retroceded it to France. In May 1803, France 
«old it to the United States. December 20, 1803, Laussat, 
Commissioner of France, formally surrendered it to Wm. C. C. 
Clairborne and James Wilkinson, Commissioners of the United 
States. A body of militia of Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, 
was held in readiness, and a small force of Tennesseeans was 
moved to Natchez, in order to quell any resistance on the 
part of the inhabitants, but none was offered. The province 
was at once divided into two territories, that of Orleans, and 
that of Louisiana. Wm. C. C. Claiborne was the first Gov- 
ernor of Orleans, in 1812 the State of Louisiana. 

The Spanish Government, through the Marquis de Casa 
Yrujo, strongly protested against the right of France to alien- 
ate the territory, alleging that there was an agreement not 
to do so, and, secondly, that the sale to France by Spain was 
not binding, because the contract of the former in regard to 
Tuscany, which was the moving consideration, had not been 
carried out. 

Macon to Steele. 

Washington 11 Deer 1803 

Your letter' of the 25 ultimo has been duly re- 
ceived, aud the remarks therein made ought to satis- 
fy every one on the subject; but it is no easy thing, 
to satisfy those who make improper and unjust de- 
mands and expect to support their claims, not by the 
law, but by an evasion of it, and not by an evasion, 
which justice could warrant 

The letter therein referred to, has been received, 
and an answer was left at home to be sent to War- 
renton to be put in the mail for you; I suppose it is 


still at home, and must remain there at least till my 

By the papers you will see, that hitherto we have 
had nothing like a storm in Congress; it is however 
true,that we have had a brisk galeor two, but of short 

I do not expect, that any subject will be before the 
house, which will produce the general sort of debate, 
which you have sometimes witnessed, and which 
never added much to the reputation of the speakers 
or to the character of the Nation 

The forming a Government for Louisiana will 
probably be the most difficult part of the present ses- 
sion I say this, because I have heard several plans 
spoken of, neither of which would I believe be adopt- 

I have sent this scrawl in some haste, 

I am Sir 
most sincerely 
Nathl Macon 
(Genl- Steele 

No Carolina) 


' We have not this letter. The claim from Rhode Island, 
elsewhere explained, is probably alluded to. Mr. Steele 
when Comptroller rejected it. 

Macon to Steele, 

Washington 12 Feby 1804 

I have duly received yours of the 19 ultimo, and 
sincerely wish it was in my power to communicate to 
you, all the wishes and intentions of every Depart- 
ment of the Government, It is I think quite proba- 
ble that no one knows less ©f them than I do, my 
situation in the House keeps me almost constantly 
confined, and I am generally so tired of politics by 
the evening, tliat I had rather hear of anything else, 
besides a hurt which I received on nly way to this 


place, has kept me much at home, so much so, that I 
have not been able to make such enquiries as I have 
heretofore done 

On the subject of the lands ' claimed by citizens of 
N. C. and others lying within the Indian border line, 
and within the limits of Tennessee, I know not what 
to ^ay; Those who ought to urg-e a decision of the 
house on that point, seen/ always to be otherwise en- 
gaged; I shall most certainly use every effort in my 
power to have a decision, but it is one of those ques- 
tions that I have so often supported, that I cannot 
now think of any thing new on the subject, and most 
cordially hate to repeat old speeches, even to new 
meml>ers. I have however a hope, that both the N. C. 
& Tennesseee members will perfectly understand the 
question, and treat it in such a manner as to make 
others completely comprehend it. I have indirectly 
heard, but I do not now recollect in what way scarce- 
ly or from whom, that the President was very desir- 
ous to get the Indians especially those to the South 
to remove themselves over the Mississippi 

The British Minister " has kicked up a little dust 
about his & his wife's rank, such as going first out 
of the sitting to the dining room; havinji- number one 
given to his wife at the dancing assembly, and this 
prank of the Briton, has acted as a spur to the Span- 
iard, and the Marquis the ^ Casa Yrujo has also taken 
it into his head to shew a trick or two about this new 
fangled doctrine of rank, where the people nor their 
form of government acknowledge any; However I 
suspect both the claims, although not for money, 
will meet, the same fate, which claims so often meet 
from the Committee of claims, that is, leave to with- 

There is at this moment a great deal of business 
before Congress, though none of much consequence, 
except forming a plan of government for Louisiana, 
and carrying the revenue laws of the U. S. into oper- 
ation in that Country; The quantity of business 
seems necessarily to put an adjournment a good way 
off, but the quality of it, is much against a distant 
day; yet it is impossible to form any tolerable cor- 
rect opinion when an adjournment will take place 


Accept my best wishes, and believe me to be very 

Sir Yrs. Sincerely 

Natlil Macon 
(General Steele 

No Carolina) • 


* By Acts of the General Assembly of North Carolina of 
1782, 1783 and 1784, the warrants for lands granted to the of- 
ficers and soldiers of the Continental line of that state were 
to be located in what was called the Military Reservation, in 
the western part of what is now Tennessee. In December 
1789, North Carolina passed the Act of Cession of Tennessee 
to the United States which was approved by Congress, April 
2nd, 1790. In this Act the rights of the officers and soldiers 
were protected. In 1796, Tennessee was admitted into the 
Union but the unappropriated lands were not ceded to her. 
Tennessee claimed that North Carolina's rights expired in 
1792 because the time of the claims was originally limited to 
that dale and the latter state had not reserved the power of 
extension of the time. In 1799, Tennessee asserted by reso- 
lution her ownersiiip as sovereign of all unlocated lands 
within her limits. In 1801, she confirmed all prior entries 
under grants, and prohibited by heavy penalties any further 
action by North Carolina surveyors and entry takers. In 
1803, she appointed Judge John Overton to adjust the diffi- 
culties with North Carolina, which resulted in giving the 
latter the right to issue the military warrants. 

In 1806, Congress in a spirit of liberality ceded to Tennes- 
see, the title of the United States, reserving the claims of 
North Carolina under the Act of Cession, and certain Indian 
titles. The part not ceded was about one- third of the state, 
and was west and south ol the line known as the Military 
Reservation line. 

The Indian titles thus reserved were those of the Chicka- 


saw Indians under the Piomingfo Treaty of 1786. By treaties 
in 1805, 1816 and 1818 the Indians agreed to sell their rights 
and move beyond the Mississippi. After satisfying all clai- 
mants, between two and three million of acres remained, 
which in 1846 were donated to Tennessee by Congress. The 
proceeds of the sale of one-third of such military land war- 
rants as escheated to North Carolina formed the endowment 
of her State University prior to the Civil War, the other two- 
thirds being taken by Tennessee for her own colleges. 

"* Jefferson adopted the rule of **pell-meir' for his dinings, 
i.e. that there should be no precedence, no grades among 
foreign ministers. **A11 are perfectly equal, whether foreign 
or domestic, titled or untitled, in or out of office." Anthony 
Merry, the British minister, arrived at Washington in the 
fall of 1803. He and his wife were invited to a reception on 
December 2nd, and contrary to usage, (France and England 
being at war) the President urged with success, M. Pichon, 
the French charge, also to attend. When dinner was an- 
nounced the President escorted Mrs. Madison and placed her 
on his right. Madame Yrujo, the wife of the Spanish min- 
ister, was placed on his left. Mr. Merry, v/ithout being as- 
signed to any seat, started to sit next to Madame Yrujo, but 
was crowded out by a member of the House of Representa- 
tives. M. Yrujo wrote home that Merry and his wife had 
reason to resent the, apparently studied, preference given to 
himself and wife over Mr. and Mrs. Merry. 

Soon after at Madison's reception the host took to the table 
the wife of the Secretary of the Treasury, Gallatin, and in 
the confusion on account of this unexpected conduct, Mrs. 
Merry was left alone, until her husband walked up and of- 
fered her his hand. M. Pichon wrote that in his opinion the 
Secretary of State wished **Mr. Merry to feel more keenly 
the scandal he had made." The scandal consisted in Merry's 
assertion that his treatment by Jefferson was intended as an 
insult to the nation he represented. 

Mrs. Merry, whom Jefferson in a private letter calls a vir- 


ag^o, was indig-tiant at her treatment. She was joined by 
Madame Yrujo and a tempest was stirred up in the tea pot of 
Washing-ton society. An explanation of the American usage 
of equality was made, but it was not successful in producing" 
peace among the ladies. JeflFerson praises Merry but adds 
**if his wife perseveres she must eat her soup at home, and 
we shall endeavor to draw him into society as if she did not 

Jefferson's disregard of etiquette was approved by his 
party, but was contemptuously denounced by the Federalists. 

Comptroller Duval to Macon, 

Comptroller's office F 16. 1804 
Dear Sir 

Having been informed, that you have received a 
letter from Mr. Steele relative to the 'Rhode Island 
petitions, which have been referred to me by the 
house of Representatives, & presuming that it may 
throw light on the subject, I have to request the fa- 
vor of a perusal of it, unless it contains matter of a 
private nature, or unless there may be any other mat- 
ter which may forbid a compliance with my request 
I have the honor to be 
with great respect & esteem 
Your obet. sert- 
( signed) G Duval 
directed to me 


Macon to Comptroller Duval. 

Washington 17 Feby 1804 

Agreeable to the r*. quest contained in yours yester- 
day, I herewith enclose you the letter of my friend 
Mr. Steele; It may not be improper to state to you, 
that this letter is an answer to one from me to him, 
& that it was tlioughtdue to him to transmit with my 
letter the statement which was presented to each 


member of the House of Representatives on the claims 
referred to in his letter 

I am with ^reat respect 
Sir Yr. most obt. sert- 
(signed) Nathl Macon 
directed to the Comptroller of the Treasury — with 
the following" — N. B. after reading please to return 
the letter 

Macon to Steele, 

Washington 26 Feby 1804 

Herewith you will receive the copy of two notes; 
If I erred in letting the present Comptroller road your 
letter, you will pardon it I am sure, either Mr. Galla- 
tin or some member of the house to whom I com- 
municated the contents or permitted to read it, must 
have informed him of it, I confess to you my anxiety 
on the subject of the Rhode Island petitions, would not 
permit me to delay sending your letter as requested; 
On the committee of commerce & manufactures it cer- 
tainly had an effect, because they had before the re- 
ception of it reported in favor of some of them, I 
believe the securities; afterwards it recommitted to 
the same Committee, because it was stated, there was 
more testimony to be laid before the committee, and 
after retaining them a considerable time. The Com- 
mittee asked to be discharged, & to have the petitions 
referred to the Comptroller, both motions ob- 

I have not heard, whether the comptroller has 
decided on them. The reference to the Comptroller, is 
rather a new proceeding in Congress, The general 
practice having been, not to refer subjects on which 
a Committee had acted to any department 

The Supreme Court I understand have decided in fa- 
vor of the sugar refiners. This question was brought 
before the Court by an appeal, from a circuit court, 
which decided against the reiiners 

I know of nothing else either legislative, executive, 
or Judical worth telling, nor even the substance of 


the testimony which has been collected ag-ainst Judge 

1 am Sir truly yrs 
Nathal Macon 
(Genl-John Steele' 
No Carolina) 


' By the courtesy of Hon. R. J. Trace well, the present 
Comptroller, I learn that there wer^ conflicting- claims to the 
bounty offered for a four months fishing cruise by owner,mas- 
ter and crew of the schooner, employed. Congress ultimately 
paid the bounty to the owner or his agent. 

Macon to Steele, 

Washington 25 March 1804 

Late last evening I had the pleasure to receive 
yours of the 15- instant, and acknowledge it early this 
m()rning,lest the book of accounts should prevent my 
doing after breakfast 

Every thing this two clays past has been hurry, but 
yesterday the H, of R. cleared the table of every order 
of the day, on which it is expected it will act in the 
present session; some bills of real importance are yet 
before the Senate, and tomorrow is the day fixed for 
adjourning; The loss of the Philadelphia, and the ef- 
fects it may produce on Tripoli in particular and the 
Barbary powers in general are not easily to be calcu- 
lated, but the situation of the unfortunate captives 
is readily felt 

I am very sincerely your friend 
Nathl Macon 
(Genl Steele 

No Carolina) 


■ Bainbridge commanded the Philadelphia a 38 gun frigate. 


in the war with Tripoli. On October 21, 1803 he chased an 
enemy cruiser into shoal water and, while hauling- off, struck 
a reef. The Tripoli tan g-unboats captured his vessel and suc- 
ceeded in floating her under the guns of the castle. Lieu- 
tenant Stephen Decatur was detailed by Commodore Preble 
to take seventy five men in a captured Tripolitan vessel todes- 
troy her. On the night of February 16th 1804 he ran into the 
harbor, boarded the Philadelphia, threw her crew .overboard, 
burned her to the water's edg-e and escaped without the loss 
of a man. 

A Treaty of Peace was made June 4th, 1805 by which Tri- 
poli agreed to cease depredations on our commerce, and on 
payment of $60,000. to release all American captives. 

Steele to Macon 

Salisbury June 7th 1804 
The want of something, My friend, which wd. be 
worth postage has delayed until now the pleasure I 
shd. otherwise have had of acknowledging sooner the 
receipt of a letter which you did me the favor to 
write to me about the close of the late session of Con- 
gress. It contained, if I remember rightly, the first 
intimation I received of the capture of the Frigate 
Philadelphia, and perceiving- lately that though lost 
to us she is also by the gallant conduct of Capt Deca- 
tur lost to our inhuman enemies, the same occasion 
will serve to convey to you my condolence and my 
congratulation for these two events. This mode of 
balancing the account is the more as^reeable to me 
too, as lam not in the habit of indulging myself in 
complaints about public or private misforlums All 
nations and all men are liable to them, and when they 
happen *'a wise man has nothing to do but to sit, 
down and digest them." I sincerely hope however, 
that our brave Tars will not remain long- in v^^aptiv- 
ity, and that they will find a suitable remuneration 
for their sufferings in the gratitude of their 

You were kind enough last winter to give me some 
information concerning the * Rhode Island pamphlet 


but I have not yet learned the final issue of that ap- 
plication to the Government. The courts gave judg- 
ment according to ray construction — the Treasy. 
authorized stay of execution that application might 
be made to the Legislature for relief as no other pow- 
er of the Government appeared competent to afford it 
Congress declined interference, discharged the com- 
mitte and transmitted the cases for further order to 
the Comptr. Here your last letter left the affair 
which on the part of Congress seemed equivalent 
to a direction to let the executions issue. Was this 
the impression at the time, or had the Treasy. adopt- 
ed any more opinion concerping the law or the merits 
of the cases? 

I wish you would also inform me whether the ex- 
Justices "of the Districtof Columbia have revived their 
application for a mandamus agt. the Secty. of State; 
and what appeared to be the opinion of the most sen- 
sible and dispassionate men in Congress as to the Ju- 
dicial manaoeiaentof that subject The motion you 
know for a rule was dismissed but the Chief Justice 
in assigning the reasons of the court not only admit- 
ted the right of the applicants to redress but point- 
ed out (in terms sufficiently explicit to be under- 
stood) the mode of obtaining it. 

A ^question of vast magnitude to the whole state 
of North Carolina and especially to the inhabitants 
of what is called Lord Granville's part of it is to be 
decided by the same gentleman at the ensuing Federal 
court at Raleigh. It is not possible that as indi- 
viduals we are in any danger of losing, or of even 
being disturbed in the possession of our estates by 
the decision: — but nevertheless as a public question 
it is entitled to attention and as citizens of a com- 
munity so deeply implicated both in its political 
character and its pecuniary interests, it is natural 
that we shd. feel an unusual degree of solicitude. 
The payment of quit rents alone (even since the 
Treaty of peace) unconnected with any question con- 
cerning the right of soil wd. produce very j>reat em- 
barassraents: — a decision of both agt. us would be at- 
tended with the most serious consequences. I think 
I have heard some years ago, that a similar ^ques 
tion was decided in the courts of Virginia in relation 


to the title and claims of one of the Proprietors there 
perhaps Lord Fairfax, and that our presiding Judge 
first as Counsel on the part of Lord F. and after- 
wards in virtue oi^L joint interest was concerned and 
had the principal manag-emeot of the cause, I am 
not sufficiently informed to say whether there is any 
anlaogy in the cases, and if there be, whether the de- 
cisions in Virginia were of a nature to increase or 
diminish our apprehensi^^s. It is probable your 
neighbor ^ Judge Hall understands this subject fully. 
Perhaps it has been considered at the seat of Govt. 
Be so good as to favor me with your ideas, and in- 
formation upon it. — 

I have lately seen, and not till lately the pam- 
phlet of Aristides, ^in vindication of Mr. Burr. It 
indicates a degree of rancorous irritation among men 
in the State of New York of which I had supposed 
the american character was not yet susceptible. It 
is indeed to be lamented, that instead of union and 
aflFoction we shd. discover in any part of our country 
such evident symptoms of deep rooted animosity and 
distraction. Contemplating scenes of civil discord 
the great and good Jos. Addison might well exclaim 
*'Gods what havock doth ambition make among your 

Yours sincerely. Adieu 

Jno. Steele 
Nathaniel Macon Esqr. 

Let me know if you please to what part of the 
country Mr. Orr has removed from the City of 
Washington. I wish to write to him but do not 
know by what mail. 

Civilians are not better agreed on any point in the 
whole science of Govt, than that party spirit is the 
evil genius of republicks and that the dangers to be 
apprehended from its excess are in exact proportion 
to the degree of freedom enjoyed within, and the re- 
moteness of hostility from without. This considera- 
tion alone shd. induce virtuons men in high public 
stations who derive thence an increased portion of 
influence in society to endeavor not vainly to depre- 
cate its existence, for in the nature of free govern- 


ments it cannot be prevented; but by the inculcation 
of wise, just, and patriotic maxims of administra- 
tions to moderate its effects, which is all that is at- 
tainable or perhaps even desirable. A cooling- reg- 
imen is best calculated to preserve unimpaired the 
health and vigor of the american body politic, and 
to give proper employment and direction to its in- 
tellectual powers. With respect to the Southern 
States I am sure this treatment is necessary and 
would prove salutary. Those who recommend a 
difft. course are weak passionate or ambitious men; 
some of them sincere perhaps in their opinions, but 
certainly not profoundly skilled in the leading prin- 
ciples of civil society, the nature of man, and the 
conflicting interests of our country geographically 


' See note to letter of 26 February, 1804. 

'The Supreme Court, in Marbury vs Madison, held that 
^hile it had not original jurisdiction it did have appellate 
jurisdiction. Marbury however did not bring suit in the 
lower court, probably because he had only a five year term, 
and so much time would elapse before be could get a dceree, 
the gain would not justify the expense. 

^Earl Granville alone of the Lords Proprietors refused to 
surrender his one eighth title to Carolina. His share was al- 
lotted to him in severalty in 1774, being the land between the 
Virginia line and 34° 36' N. He sold many tracts reserving^ 
quit-rents. The test suit brought by his heirs ag-ainst Wm. 
R. Davie and Josiah Collins was tried in Raleig'h before the 
circuit court of the United States, Judge Henry Potter pre- 
siding-. Chief Justice Marshal declined sitting because of his 
connection with similar claims before going on the bench. 
The jury decided against the plaintiffs and they appealed to 
the Supreme Court of the United States. The appeal was 
not prosecuted. Great Britian had accepted three millions of 
dollars in discharge of debts due her subjects, but the states, 
being only recommended to restore confiscated lands, never 


complied. Wm, Gaston was leading- counsel for the Gran- 
ville heirs and Duncan Cameron for the defence. 

* See note to next letter. 

*The pamphlet of "Aristides" was in behalf of Burr, a 
vicious attack on his opponents, the Clintons, Livingston, 
Hamilton and others. The author was William Peter Van 

*Judg"e John Hall afterwards Supreme Court Judge of 
North Carolina. 

Macon to Steele. 

Rock Spring 2 July 1804 

I yesterday had the pleasure to receive yours of 
the 22 ultimo; and sincerely regret that it is not in 
my power, to give such an answer to your enquiry 
concerning the fate of the Rhode Island petition as 
would please myself, before leaving Washington and 
after I had finished my business with the Treasury & 
bank, I called at the Comptrollers oflBce with no other 
view, than to ascertain, whether he bad finally deter- 
mined the case, and to enquire what that determi- 
nation was, provided he had made one; He was not 
in the Treasury department at the time: I however 
understood, though not officially that he had decided 
in favor of the prayer of the petition; on what ground 
the opinion was formed I do not understand; The 
decision made by you, would I am sure have been con- 
firmed by the H. of R. and I entertain no doubt but 
there were some, who voted for the reference, under 
the belief that the decision would be confirmed by the 
present officer, without perhaps reflecting much on 
the nature of the reference, This opinion is in some 
measure entertained, because the vote to refer was 
taken without debate, and I know that there were 
members, who are in the habit of speaking who ap- 
proved of your decision; I also understood, that the 
present officer was exceedingly sorry that it was re- 

I have not heard any thing of Medeterranian af- 
fairs more than you have seen in the papers. Though 


I believe the P-would willing-ly be at peace with 
them as well as the rest of the world; provided peace 
would be had on fair & honest principles; This 
opinion is formed only on the g-eneral conduct of the 

The case of the heirs of Lord Granville is not now 
talked much of, with us, it is g-enerally said he will 
not recover; and most, if not all seem satisfied with the 
opinion; I have not heard the opinion of any Law- 
yer or Judge. It was made an objection to the treaty 
negotiated by Mr. Jay, that it would at least induce 
the heirs to put up a claim and Mr. Tracey ' of Con- 
necticut, then in the hmse examined the question, and 
declared detidedly that the heirs could never recover 
one foot 

The Fairfax claim' was purchased (as I have un- 
derstood, or rather as well as I now recollect, what I 
formerly heard,) about the time of the treaty, suits 
were brought, Mr. Marshall was a partner in the pur- 
chase, his brother James made the contract with the 
English claimant, whether Mr. M. appeared as coun- 
sel for the plaintiff I do not recollect, but he certain- 
ly was in fact, the leading counsel, whether he 
appeared at the bar or not; The State of Virginia 
and the purchasers of Fairfax at last compromised 
but I do not know on what principle the compromise 
took place 

Patience will bring everything right in a free 
country, and if contrary to my expectations the claim 
is supported, we must exercise the same patience, 
which we have done, on other great questions, The 
assembly I hope will not touch or meddle with the 
subject at their next meeting 

Permit me to assure you, that the sentiments of 
respect which you have expressed are & always have 
been reciprocated by 

vrs sincerely 
(Genl. John Steele * Nathl Macon 

No Carolina) 


' Uriah Tracy, Senator from Connecticut; a lawyer; member 


of House of Representatives 1793 to 1796 and of the Senate 
1796-1807. He contended (a)that North Carolina succeeded to 
Granville's, as well as the crown lands, by the Act of Indepen- 
dence, (b) North Carolina's claim was good by Acts of Con- 
fiscation, (c) That the treaties of 1783 and 1794 conferred 
right only on those who owned lands at those dates. It was 
reported that the Granville heirs had received ;^60,000 from 
the British treasury as compensation for their losses. 

• Thomas, Lord Fairfax, of Greenway Court, in the Noth- 
ern Neck, between the Potomac and the Rappahannock. He 
owned over 5,000,000 acres of Virginia lands. He died in 1781 
devising part of his estate to his nephew Denny, afterwards 
Lord Fairfax, a resident of England. Messrs. Marshall, Col- 
ston and Lee bought the interest of this nephew. After liti- 
gation, John Marshall, attorney, also one of the purchasers, 
in 1796 made a compromise with the state, which was carried 
into effect by an Act of the Assembly. The devisee of Lord 
Fairfax, and their assignees relinquished all claims to those 
Fairfax lands, ''which were waste and unappropriated at the 
time of the death of the elder Lord Fairfax, and the state of 
Virginia relinquished all claims to lands specifically appro- 
priated by the said Lord Fairfax to his own use, either by 
deed or actual survey." The act was passed '*on the petition 
of sundry inhabitants of the counties of Hampshire, Hardy 
and Shenandoah." 

Macon to Steele. 

Washington 12 Deer. 1804 

This place has during the present session been 
one continued calm, no political event has hitherto 
produced any warmth on either side, nor is there yet 
a motion made, which will change this happy state 
of affairs, but a report which must be made on the 
petition of those generally denominated yazoo men, 
will probably destroy the quiet of the session, this 
opinion is formed rather from former debates, than 
any thing that I have heard since coming here; Not- 


withstanding" this temperate state of the house, the 
intercourse between those of diflFerent politics, is not 
more frequent than formerly; 

The city is uncommonly dull, and houses increase 
faster than inhabitants a few new ones are building", 
while some of those already built are not inhabited, 

Georgetown has improved a little particularly the 
streets since you saw it. 

It is believed by those who pretend to be best in- 
formed, that Tripoli" will soon be compelled to peace; 
if this should be the case, and the European belleger- 
ent powers not infringe our neutral rights, we shall 
soon be in a situation to reduce the tax on some im- 
ported article, 

This letter will convince you, that nothing* but a 
desire to write to you, could be the cause of writing 
— yrs truly 

Nathl Macon. 
(Genl. John Steele 

No Carolina) 


*In 1795 four land companies, by bribery as was believed, 
obtained from the General assembly of Georgia grants for 
about 35,000,000 acres, about half of the territory between 
the Georgia line and the Mississippi river, for $500,000 or 
about one and a half cents per acre. In 17% a new legisla- 
ture passed an act revoking the sale, and many of the stock- 
holders surrendered their contracts. Many, however, sold 
their claims to persons in New England and elsewhere who 
stood in the light of innocent purchasers. In Fletcher vs. 
Peck the Supreme Court sustained their title, the repealing act 
being unconstitutional. In- 1802 Georgia ceded the territory 
west of her limits to the United States. The purchasers from 
the grantors of 1795 applied to Congress to perfect their titles 
or compensate them in money. John Randolph opposed them 
fiercely and succeeded in postponing action for years. In 
1813 Congress compromised the matter for $5,000,000, paya- 
ble out of the sales of the land in question. 


It is noticeable that Randolph was defeated for this Con- 
gress by John W. Eppes. Able commissioners, Madison, Gal- 
latin, Levi Lincoln, with James Jackson, Secretary Baldwin 
and Governor Milledge, had recommended a compromise. 

Steele to Macon. 

Salisbury Jany. 17th, 1805. 
Dear Sir, 

About four weeks ag'o I had the pleasure to re- 
ceive your much esteemed favor of the 12th of Decem- 
ber and wd. have acknowledged my obligations to 
you for it sooner, if an entire failure in the arrival of 
our Mails since that time (occasioned^ by uncommonly 
deep' snows) had not prevented me. Your kindness 
in remembering an absent friend is entitled to the 
best return which a sincere and grateful heart can 
make: — mine I trust you will always find duly sensi- 
ble of your attentions and devoted to the cultivation 
of those friendly dispositions which in every situation, 
but especially in a retired one, constitute a principal 
share of our best enjoyments. — In private life, it is 
natural that a man should appretiate highly the of- 
fices of personal regard, and when these come, like 
yours, from one of a difft party name they win upon 
the heart not as friendly attentions merely but as in- 
dications of candor and liberality rising superior to 
the prejudices and passions of the times. To the 
want of a sufficient degree of this same spirit of can- 
dor and liberality is to be ascribed that distance and 
reserve which you inform me still continue to be kept 
up among the Members of Congress — This state of 
things, however we may unite in lamenting its exist- 
ence is an evil not to be cured while both parties be- 
lieve or pretend to believe, the fault to be with their 
opponents and not with themselves as if virtue and 
vice were synonomous with party distinctions — 
Those who in a party sense have been Federalists (for 
you must notice here as in former letters that I speak 
of that party as having beeyi^ because it was in my 
opinion dissolved at the conclusion of the late gener- 
al" peace when the French revolution terminated, and 
our proclamation of neutrality of 1793 and the great- 


er part of the measures which gfrewoutof it had their 
effect) charge 1-2 of your party with maintaining' the 
odious doctrine of a general expulsion of all who are 
called Federalists from oflBce, and the other and better 
because less unjust and irrational half, with the toler- 
ation of those who are in but the rigid exclusion of 
all who are oUt. This last, they say, not less than 
the first is ,a departure from the broad and generous 
principle avowed in the President's inauguration 
speech, which is the only one that can or ought to 
last, and that indiscriminate exclusion formatters of 
opinion with reference to our disputes, is in efifect not 
merely to **call by different names brethren of the 
same principle" but to treat one class of brethren 
worse than Aliens. Although the Federal party in 
the sense which I have supposed the proper one may 
be dissolved, the individuals continue, and nothwith- 
standing the submission of many of them to the will 
of the majority in changing the Administration, their 
explicit approbation of some of the acts of Govern- 
ment since (particularly the acquisition of Lousiana 
and the measures adopted for the reduction of the 
Funded debts) an entire cordiality in their intercourse 
with your party, either in or out of Congress, is not 
in the nature of things to be expected, while their in- 
discriminate exclusion is either openly vindicated, or 
tacitly adhered to as a maxim of administration. It 
would well become a man of your independence and in- 
fluence to inculcate the injustice and narrowness of 
such a sentiment, and that being, though in a less 
violent degree than expulsion, a species of political 
persecution you may easily show that it cannot stand 
a temperate and enlightened examination. Another 
reason will of course occur to you. that from the tend- 
ency of elections in some of the States it must have 
become manifest of late to the good men of your par- 
ty, that in southern sections at least they have more 
to apprehend from another quarter than from the Fed- 
eralists, and that however complete your party tri- 
umphs may seem to be, they cannot have beneficial 
and permanent effects, unless you guard agt. the arts 
and violent cotnisels of your Exclusionists. Had Majr 
Franklin^ understood this subject better, had he 
turned his eyes in time to the quarter whence real op- 


position came, he might perhaps been continued six 
yrs. longer! 1 1 Here ray friend, let jour own reflec- 
tions supply the rest. What I have suggested has at 
least the merit of being disinterested, and proceeds 
from that unreserved confidence which has character- 
ized all my intercourse with you: — an intercourse be- 
gun when opinions were free, long before political 
differences were sharpened into animosity, and sus- 
tained without interruption through the most viru- 
lent seasons of it. 

Not having seen a newspaper for some weeks, ow- 
ing to the detention of four mails I am as ignorant of 
what is going on at Washington since the date of 
your letter as the man in the Moon. These privations 
which only disappoint my curiosity a little are not 
however without their advantage, for they leave my 
mind more unoccupied and better fitted to pursue a 
course of reading which keeps me employed with the 
hope of becoming a more intelligent and useful mem- 
ber of society. In this pursuit I have moved on for 
two years past with greater assiduity and success than 
in any other equal period of my life; a good arrange- 
ment of my little estate leaving me but few cares or 
interruptions except such as proceed occasionally from 
the want of health in my family, and these visits 
which are only autumnal I shall endeavour to pre- 
vent after another year by a temporary residence an- 
nually at the Botetourt springs^ or some other civil- 
ized place where I can keep my wife and children well. 
Twenty acres of cotton more than my overseer at 
Lethe is preparing to plant for the next crop will en- 
able me to do this, and then ( - my own health being 
already quite robust) I shall be as happy as peace of 
mind, and good will to all the sons of Adam can make 
me. Of this long, and the misanthrope would per- 
haps say shabby list, there is not one who would 
serve you with more pleasure or who is with greater 
sincerity and truth your friend than the one who now 
wishes you an happy new yr. and many of them, full 
of honor and uninterrupted satisfaction 

Adieu • 

Jno. Steele. 
Nathaniel Macon Esqr. 

House of Representatives 



It will require some gfreatness of mind on both sides 
to search dispassionately for the causes of this, 
and still more perhaps to apply a rational and 
well timed remedy. 

There are times when passions are necessary but 
such are not the present. Your best Doctors and 
Dr. Macon among the rest, I have no doubt 
recommend a cooling regimen as the best means 
of abating that fever which has brought, and 
must if not checked continue to bring noisy and 
inferior men into places of distinction. You 
want, especially from the Southern States, clear 
headed, well informed, virtuous men: — whether 
your chance of obtaining them be increased or 
diminished by the doctrine of exclusion is a very 
simple question. 


' A similar snow fell in North Carolina in 1857. 

"The Treaty of Amiens, March 25th, 1802, negotiated by 
Lord Cornwallis and Joseph Buonaparte, concluding the war 
between England and France and their respective allies. 
The peace proved to be only a truce and was ended in 1803. 
General Steele's notion that the Federal party came to its 
end in 1802, proved to be illusory. Jefferson seemed to ap- 
prove it when he said in his first message; **We have called 
by different names brethren of the same principle. We are 
all Federalists — all Republicans." 

Uesse Franklin, U. s! Senator 1789-1805. State Senator 
1805 and 1806. U. S. Senator again 1807-'13; Governor of 
North Carolina 1820-'21. In 1805 he was defeated by James 

^In the mountains of Virginia. 

AUico7i to Steele, 

Washington 19 Jany, 1805 

This Session of Congress has not hitherto produced 
a fact, worth writing which may not be seen in every 


news paper in the U. S. It is possible I may have 
told you this once before; The debates have g^ener- 
ally been conducted with moderation & temper nol- 
withstandingf there has been a subject or two, which 
in their nature must have very much inteiested the 
feelings of many; of this kind is the present trade to 
St- Domingo; which is chiefly carried on by armed 
vessels, without authority for arming, and mostly it 
is believed in articles contraband of war; The armed 
vessels as well as their warlike cargoes are under- 
stood to be sold in the Island at very high prices; 
This kind of trade must I conceive produce the same 
sensations, in the European governments, who have 
colonies in the West Indies, as it will produce in the 
states whose population is not all of the same condi- 
tion and color; The Government of France ', which 
has not yielded the idea of conquering the Island, and 
reducing the inhabitants to the situation they were 
in before the revolution; may view this merchantile 
project, in rather a more. strong light, than the other 
European Nations; A bill to regulate the arming of 
merchant vessels has passed the H. of R. and is now 
before the Senate, The bill is scarcely strong enough 
I fear, to produce the desired effect, when the great 
profit of the trade is considered 

To restrain if possible, by law the violation of our 
neutrality and our neutral rights in our waters, will 
be a subject of some difi&culty, the opinions which 
have been expressed on this point are various indeed, 
no decisive vote has yet been taken by which an 
opinion may be formed, as to the result, 

The British Government are I am informed deter- 
mined to enforce their navigation law% This will 
probably if rightly carried into execution, give some 
uneasiness to our Merchants & navigators, and may 
possibly during the present session give rise to a 
motion or two if nothing else; This determination 
will doubtless produce in the U. S. many projects to 
countervail, almost every politician will have a plan, 
and each of them will fancy his own quite certain to 
produce the desired effect; Whenever a step shall be 
taken on this ground, must be examined in the most 
deliberate manner; it effects may come to every man 


at home, It will also produce as serious consequences 
to the people of Britain. 

I have not heard, who the new ^ attorney general 
is to be; l)efore this you have seen that Mr. Lincoln 
has resigned — It is reported, that there is some dif- 
ficulty in getting one to accept 

We have a very severe and very dull winter in the 
city — I am Sir yrs truly 

Nathl Macon 
(General John Steele 

No Carolina) 


' The eastern part of Santo Domingo under the Spaniards 
was not aifected by the rebellion in the western part 1791- 
'97. In 1795 Spain ceded its rights in the island to France, 
In 1801 Toussaint Louverture ruled the island. In 1802 the 
French occupied it, but were driven out of the western part, 
retaining their hold in the eastern until 1809, when the Eng- 
lish captured Santo Domingo and Samana and gave them to 
her ally Spain. 

"The chief object of the navigation law at this time was to 
prevent Americans and other neutrals from carrying French 
and Spatiish sugar from the West Indies to Europe. 

3 Robert Smith, of Maryland, was transferred from the 
Navy Department to the Attorney Generalship, After hold- 
ing the office for a few months he was appointed Secretary of 
State. In 1811 Madison replaced him by James Monroe. 
He was succeeded in the office of Attorney General by John 
Breckinridge, grandfather of vice-President John C. Breckin- 
ridge; Senator from Kentucky 1804-''05. Cjiesar A. Rodney, 
of Delaware, was successor to Breckinridge, who died in 
December, 1806. 

Macon to Steele. 

Washington 3 March 1805 

I have received your letter and owe you answer, 


*Ch. aide 60 cotton 


'• oatH 


*• whi^t 



•• 65 com 


which I have not before given; can only now say what 
you know, that the session is almost at an end, and 
that I am truly 

Nathl Macon 
Debating- a bill to add to the pension list 

(Genl- John Steele 

No Carolina) 


Endorsed on this letter in Gen. Steele's hand writing is the 
following, doubtless his mode of cultivating his plantation 

*PegH. 40oatH *Barnf. eo whti«t ^Bottom aOcoru 

'• wlu«t •• cotton " 60 com 

•* 66 cotton •• corn •• OHt« 

" corn •• oatH " wheat 

•• 65 oats •• 65 wheat '* 65 cotton 

Total, 260 acres. 

* Names of his diflFerent fields. We can only guess that 
Ch. side is Chilly side and Peg H. is Peg Hill. 'Barnfield and 
Bottom are sufficiently plain. The list is printed in order to 
show the rotation of crops adopted by Genera) Steele, as well 
as approximately the size of his farm. As plantations in his 
day had a generous quantity of woodland. I conjecture that 
Lethe contained 800 to 1000 acres. 

'Ch. side was '*turned out," or lay fallow in 1808. 

Macon to Steele, 

Washington 10 Jany 1808 

The letter you wrote to hie on the 20 - ultimo,came 
to hand yesterday. The contents was immediately 
communicated to Mr. Turner,*wh(),instantly answered 
that his agent in Carolina had informed him, that his 
horses were en«(^aged for the next season, and that if 
they had not, he would most willingly lot you have 
one on the usual terms; I do not know where either of 


the horses mentioned by you are to stand next spring-, 
nor do I know to whom either of them belong; Whip 
was last year in Georgia 

Mr. Turner informed mo that he expected the pedi- 
gree & performance of his horses would be published 
in the news papers, he has them not with him, or I 
would send them to you He also informed me that 
Magic would btand this season in your neighborhood 
and that he would sell one; I was this morning at 
Genl. Blount" lodgings, where the conversation turn- 
edon horses, he had in his possession several volumes 
of the Sporting Mag-aziue he turned to one, and 
read an account of the winners for 1806, in which 
Mountaineer a son of Magic won 13 times that year 

It is I think quite probable that all the stallions of 
note, are engaged before this for the next season 

lam sorry that you should make any apolog-y for 
writing, your letters are always gratifing and accei>- 
table, & I have more spare time than usual, because 
my health will not permit me, to be engaged so zeal- 
ously in business as formerly 

What is to be the result of our disputes with foreign 
nations God cmly knows; The last account from Nor- 
folk is that Mr. Rose^ was still on board the Frigate 
in which he arrived, It has been said that the neces- 
sary orders wore issued for his landing before his ar- 
rival, and that they had boon repeated since, I know 
nothing as tj the truths of these facts, but give them 
as I have heard thorn; France will probably now ex- 
ecute her decree,* of the 21 Novr. -6, against G-Bri- 
tian; This if done, will bo felt by us and will I think 
add to the difficulty of settling our affairs with Great 
Britain and there seems to be difficulties enough al- 
ready to puzzle the wisest head; France & G. Britain 
may bo compared to a Tiger & Shark, each destroy- 
ing every thing that comos in their way, their lato 
conduct to Denmark and Portugal, without recurring 
to any other fact is enough to establish the propriety 
of the above 

By the public prints you have discovered, that Con- 
g^ress have made very liberal appropriations^ for for- 
tifications and gun boats, to this liberality I have no 
claim; the first seems now to be almost useless in 


Europe, and as to the second, we ought to have a lit- 
tle more experience before we adopt it as a system of 
. defence, 

I am very much & sincerely 

Nathl Macon 
Mr. Steele. 


* Governor James Turner. 

See letter of September 15, 1802. Note 1. 

"Thomas Blount of North Carolina. Lieut, at Eutaw, 
Major General of militia. Representative in Cong-ress 1793- 
'99, 1805- '09 and 1811-'12, died in Washington City. Februa- 
ry 12, 1812. He was a younjj^er brother of General and 
Senator Wm. Blount. 

'George Rose was British minister to the United States 
1807-08 to settle the difficulty arising from the attack on the 
Chesapeake by the Leopard. The President had issued a 
proclamation, interdicting all armed vessels of Great Britain 
from the waters of the United States & forbidding all supplies 
to and intercourse with them. Vessels in distress or bearing 
dispatches were excepted. Mr. Rose under instructions re- 
fused to consider the question of the Chesapeake outrage un- 
less this proclamation should be withdrawn. The President 
offered to withdraw it on tlie same day that the reparation 
should be matle. This was declined on the ground that the 
proclamation was offensive. Mr. Rose likewise objected to 
including the right of searching merchant vessels for British 
seamen. As no agreement was reached he returned to En- 
land. In 1809 the affair was settled, the act of Captain Hum- 
phrey of the Leopard was disavowed, the men taken from the 
Chesapeake restored and provision for the sufferers was offered. 
The British minister announced that he considered the non- 
intercourse act of the preceding session as placing France and 
England on the same footing and hence was willing to offer 


*The Berlin Decree. It declared the British Isles in a state 
of blockade, and all British merchandise, even on neutral vessels 
to be lawful prize. It greatly injured the United States. 

In 1793 and 1794 England prohibited trade with France. 
November 11th, 1807 a sweeping order was made prohibiting 
trade from the United States to any European country 
under Napoleon's power. 

5 103 gunboats were built. Thomas Paine was employed to 
defend the policy of relying on them. He endeavored to show 
that seventy four guns on seventy four vessels would do twice 
as much damage as seventy four guns on one vessel, and 
would cost much less. The experiment was not successful. 

Macon to Steele. 

Washington 20 Feby 1809 

I have received the letter which you wrote to me 
on the 29 Ultimo, our affairs are still as i>erplexed as 
ever, what course Congress mav take during the ses- 
sion, relative to our foreign affairs is yet doubtful in 
my opinion 

By this mail I send you a message of the Presi- 
dent, which is a valuable collection of the wrongs 
that belligerents have inflicted on neutrals 
I am much & sincerely 


Nathl Macon 
(Genl. John Steele J 

Salisbury J 

No Carolina) ^ 

Macon to Tancey, 

Buck Spring ' 20 June 1820 

I have received your letter of the 2 instant, and 
thank you for the trouble about the linnen, if you 
should get it, it will answer for another year, but as 
it is now too late for this; trouble yourself no more 
about it, if however you have got it, send as before 


As I never did nor never shall shyhog/ I only 
know, what was to be sjen or heard about it at the 
last session, much was done and more openly about 
the Missouri compromise than I ever witnessed be- 
fore; I have no doubt, it would not have taken place, 
had not the administration, and the supposed leaders 
of those opposed to it, declared in favor of it, after 
Storrs'^ motion had been rejected; which would have 
g-iven two dei^rees more to the people of the south; 
The history of the transaction is too long* for a let- 
ter: of the ^reat men at Washington, Crawford * I 
think rather stands highest, though he not so high 
as he has- done; Monroe has no opposition in Con- 
gress, nor has he much real support, it is a sort of 
calm, all looking beyond him; Adams has a few warm 
supporters, a part of them from locaf considerations, 
and others for his violent defence ^ of the attack of 
the Spanish forts in Florida; Calhoun stands well 
with the military; the manufacturers not so well as 
formerly, though well. enough, and with those for in- 
ternal improvements very high Clay stands high with 
the two last mentioned, what his plans are I know 
not, had Tomkins* have been elected Governor, he 
would no doubt have been a candidate or rather run ' 
for the Vice President, I should not be surprised, if 
he attends the next session of Congress 

I have no desire for any place & shall attend the 
next session of Congfress, because the Missouri ques- 
tion, may return on the admission of the state to the 
union; If Holmes^ & Hill should be elected Sena- 
tors from Maine, they will strengthen the Senate on 
the question, which is now believed to be strong 
enough for the admission, but may weaken the H. 
of R. 

I sincerely hope you may call here on your way to 
Halifax, I am very desirous to see you; The last 
was the most disagreeable session I ever attended, 
though I have seen some more hot & boisterous 

R. King^ has I think lost ground, with his party; 
Pinkney'^ & Smith' *" replies to him on the Missouri ■ 
bill, lessened his reputation as a statesman and pub- 
lic speaker, or rather his own speech done it: Re- 
member me in right down good will to your wife & 


children I should be truly glad to see them believe 
me your friend 

Nathl Macon 
(Mr. Bartlett Yancey 

Caswell C. H. 

No Carolina) 


' Mr. Macon's Plantation home. 

'Often used by Mr. Macon. The word is undoubtedly met- 
aphorical, taken from **beating the woods'' for shy, or run- 
away hogs. 

^ Henry R. Storrs, of Connecticut; settled in New York. 
Representative in Congress, 1817-'21 and 1823 -'31. His mo- 
tion was that slavery west of the Mississippi should be inter- 
dicted in the territory north of thirty eight degrees. 

* William Harris Crawford, of Georgia. His paralytic 
stroke was not until the summer of 1823. He never recovered 
his vigor of mind and body though be long clung to the hoi>e 
of being President. He was Secretary of War 1815 to 1816, 
and Secretary of the Treasury 1816 to 1825. 

5 The seizure by General Jackson of the posts of St. Marks 
and Pensacola, and the fortress of Barancas, on the ground 
that the Spaniards harbored hostile Indians and instigated 
invasions of the United States. John Quincy Adams, was 
Secretary of State. The House of Representatives sustained 
Jackson by 91 to 65. Calhoun the Secretary of War, disap- 
proved Jackson's course. After several years, Jackson 
learned this from Crawford and became hostile to Calhoun. 

*^ Daniel D. Tompkins, of New York, Vice President from 
1817 to his death in 1825; Governor during the war of 1812. 

'John Holmes, Senator from Maine, 1820 to 1827, and 

Mark L. Hill was a Representative from Maine, 1821-'23. 

John Chandler was the other Senator from Maine, 1820-^29. 

Maine was adtuitted into the Unicm April 15th, 1820. 

*Rufus King; Born in Massachusetts; Delegate to the Con- 


tinental Congress, 1784-'86, and to the National Constitu- 
tional Convention, 1787; Removed to Neve York City, 1788; 
United States Senator, 1789-'96, and 1813-'25; Minister to 
Great Britain, 1796-1803, and again 1825-'26. 

'^ William Pinkney, of Maryland. One of the Commis- 
sioners under Jay's Treaty. Minister to Great Britain, 1706- 
'11; Attorney General of United States, 1811-'14; Represen- 
tative in Congress, 1816; Minister to the two Sicilies, then to 
Russia, 1816-'18; United States Senator, 1820, to his death 
in 1822. After his speech in reply to King, the latter shook 
his hand and said, '*Sir, you have acquitted yourself to-day 
as a scholar, a statesman, and a gentleman." 

*" William Smith, of South Carolina, was Senator, 1817-23, 
and 1826-'31; twice refused appointment as Justice of the 
Supreme Court of the United States; Removed to Alabama 
in 1833; was opposed to nullification. 

Macon to Bartlctt Tancey,"^ 

Washington 29 Jany 1824 

It was said of old, that one good turn deserves an- 
other; They may not be of equal value; though the 
desire of each may be equally friendly; The opin- 
ions of the court of Kentucky,"" & your reasons for a 
new trial, have been received, for which accept my 
thanks: A Juryman is not allowed to be a Judge of 
law, but only of facts, unless in criminal prosecu- 
tions; hence it is not fit for me, even to attempt to 
decide between such mighty law characters; It may 
however be allowed to observe that in trials, of the 
very greatest importance; if the shadow of doubt 
exist in the mind of the Court a new trial ought to 
be granted; nay where the interest of a whole society 
may be at stake, it might be worthy of a Court, to 
grant a new trial, to convince the most interested; 
that his case, was not decided without a patient & 
vigilant investigation 

The constitution of the U. S. ought to be executed, 
as it was explained by its friends in the state conven- 


tions which adopted it; The same remark will ap- 
ply to the amendments which have been made to it, 
to take by construction or implication more power, 
than was claimed by them; seems to savour of de- 
ception, nay almost of a fraud on the people; One 
reason for adopting" it, was to get clear of paper 
money & to have but one currency in the nation; Un- 
fortunately however power has been assumed to es- 
tablish banks & they issue a paper currency, which 
is not of the same value, in the same state; Credit 
is the eifect of property or g-ood character; unless the 
morals be perfectly sure, it often shakes both; neg^o- 
tiable paper of all sorts; results from Credit & that 
from want of money, which is rendered more scarce 
by the use of credit; which was intended to supply 
the want; Every kind of negotiable paper adds to 
the evil & increases the tendency to render money 
more Scarce 

I fear these observations are too old fashioned for 
you, though they were once, in g^ood repute with the 
old republicans: as they are out of fashion, they are 
only intended for your own eyes, & not for those of 
any other person; That happiness & prosperity may 
attend you, 8l all that are near and dear is the sin- 
cere wish of 

yr. friend 

Nathi Macon 

Add that the currency of banks is alien, in states 
which did not establish them, & that all debtors are 
liable for hard money: Indeed the branch banks of 
the U. S. are almost alien to each other & to the 
mother bank 



' Bartlett Yancey was a lawyer, and one of the m©st influ- 
ential men of his day in North Carolina. He was a Repre- 
sentative in Cong-ress, 1813-'17; Speaker of the State Senate, 
1817-'28. He declined the mission to Peru, tendered by 

^ Mr. Macon probably speaks of Briscoe vs. Bank of Ken- 
tucky, 11 Peters, 257, which decided that the bills of a bank 


chartered by a state are not "bills of credit," which are pro- 
hibited by the constitution, even thoug-h the state is sole 
stock holder and agrees to pay the bills in case of failure by 
the bank. 

Macon to Tancey. 

Washington 7 Feby 1824 

If you are not at home, when this letter gets to 
Caswell-C-H-; It may stay in the office; or Mrs. Yan- 
cey may take it, open it & read it, & then keep it for 

It was written to a much esteemed friend, who be- 
fore it was sent, came here, & as I hate to write for 
or to no body it is transmitted to you, not that I 
think it any great thing, but that I had rather you 
had it than to burn it, which you may do 

Gales & Seaton's* paper yesterday announced the 
ante caucus" determination, & the invitation to one; 
Crawford ^ is much mended since my last, & told me 
last night, that he was mending fast in every re- 

It is reported that the friends of Clay & Calhoun 
continue to be the most industrious; & that Clay ex- 
erts himself very much; I have been told that all 
unite against Crawford, & against a caucus; He 
however I am almost certain has more than 80 friends 
in Congress, perhaps r»ear one 100 — God bless you & 

Nathl Macon 
(Mr. Bartlett Yancey 

Caswell C-H- 

No Carolina) 


'Joseph Gales and William W. Seaton. Their paper was 
the National Intelligencer, 1807-60. They also published 
the Annals of Congress, in forty two volumes. 

" Mr. Macon means the anti-caucus call. His prediction 
was not verified. Only 66 out of 261 members of Congress 


attended. Crawford and Gallatin were nominated. This 
last Cong^ressional Caucus was held February 14th, 1824. 

'Crawford had a stroke like paralysis before this and it 
was used ag^ainst his candidacy. 

Macon to Tancey. 

Washing-ton 24 Feby 1824 
Sir * 

It is now believed here, & some say known, that 
Calhoun ' has withdrawn from the contest for the 
presidency; & that his friends will support Genl. 
Jackson; I have heard, whether truly or not, I do 
not know that the g-reatest exertions are to be made, 
for the General in North Carolina," I mention this, 
that you may be advised early oif the doing's & ex- 
pectations here; 

I have heard that a meeting was to take place last 
Saturday at Warren ton to nominate the General; 
when I left home a great majority in the county ap- 
peared to be for Crawford, & I imagine are yet so; a 
meeting for the same purpose, was to take place in 
, Hillsborough, the day not recollected 
God bless you & yours 

Nathl Macon 
(Mr. Bartlett Yancey 

Caswell C- H- 

No Carolina) 


'Calhoun did withdraw and was nominated for the Vice 

• North Carolina cast her 15 electoral votes for Jackson and 
Calhoun. In the House of Representatives a majority of her 
members cast the vote of the State for Crawford. 

Macon to^ Tancey, 

Washington 31-March 1824 

Since my last not much if any change is understood 


to have taken place, in relation to the presidential 
election; Genl. Smith ' of Maryland told me yesterday, 
that he believed Crawford was g-aining- in that state. 
Some of the New England members, also say he is in 
their opinion gaining there: But reports are in cir- 
culation that he is losing in our native N-C- Did you 
only know the Pennsylvania member ' who is consid- 
ered the best advised about public opinion in N. C. 
you would be surprised, if not mortified 

What will be the vote of the Senate on the tariffs 
bill & that for internal improvement by federal gov- 
ernment not known, a near one is expected 

I wish, that I could see you & your family; In the 
present unsettled state of the politics of the country, 
it is desirable that the republicahs should be always 
at their post; power once lost is not easily regained, 
& republicanism must be preserved in the states, or 
it cannot prevail in the federal Government. The 
opinions of the states will be carried to Washington, 
and that of the people ought to give the tone to both 

I never was more tired of a session than this, & am 
growing old faster than is wished; it is the course of 
nature, to which all must submit; I cannot speak a 
half hour without being hoarse 

Crawford was mending he told me, on last friday 
very fast; Mrs. Miller* continues to look well & is as 
lively as you ever saw her, always enquires after you; 
That God may preserve you & your family in health 
& happiness is the sincere wish of your old friend- 

Nathl Macon 
(Mr Bartlett Yancey 

Caswell C-H- 
No Carolina) 


' Samuel Smith, of Maryland, in the House and Senate 1793 
to 1822 and Senator again 1833-'35. 

'I can only guess that it was Daniel H. Miller. 

^Passed the Senate and became a law. That for Internal 
Improvements was also passed. 

* Probably the wife of Daniel H. Miller, Congressman from 


Macon to Tancey, 

Washing-ton 6 May 1824 

Since the receipt of your last letter nothing has oc- 
curred worth notice, more than you will have seen in 
the news papers: when Congress will adjourn God 
only knows, perhaps in this month 

It is very probable, that N. Carolina will be the 
place of great electioneering this year and that some 
who do not now live in the state will either take it in 
their way home, or visit it for the purpose of advising 
the good people of the state for whom to vote for 
President & Vice President; those expected to visit 
for the purpose, are the friends of Jackson I mention 
this that you may be advised of my opinion in due 
time; it is supposed that King ' & Moor' of Alabama 
& Eaton ' of Tennessee will take the route, it is the 
nearest way for King, but for the others I do not 
imagine it is. As this is only opinion, it is intended 
for yourself alone, 

The tariff* will I fear pass, it depends on two men 
in the Senate both from New England, who will 
finally I suspect vote for it, provided they can get a 
few alterations to suit them 

I never was so tired of being here; nor never wit- 
nessed so much shyhogging: the subjects are the 
presidency, internal improvements, & the tariff, one 
is over, others yet on hand 

I want much to see you, & should be equally glad 
to see Mrs. Yancey, but do not expect that it will be 
in my power to get to Caswell; 

Lowrie^ has certainly so far got the bettei of his 
opponents; The President has contrived to get him- 
self in an awkward situation; nothing it seems to me, 
can be more disagreeable, than for an old man, who 
has spent much of his time in public life, to be about 
to quite the service of the country, in a condition not 
to be coveted; 

Remember me in the most friendly terms to Mrs. 
Yancey, & believe me 

Yr. friend 

Nathl Macon 
(Mr. Bartlett Yancey 

Caswell C-H- No Carolina) 



'William Rufus King, Representative in Congress from 
North Carolina 1811-'16; United States Senator from Ala- 
bama 1819-'44; and 1846-'53; Minister to France 1844-'46; Vice- 
President 1852 to his death, April 18, 1853; Alumnus of the 
University of North Carolina. 

"Gabriel Moore, of Alabama, Representative in Congress, 
1822-79; Governor, 1829-'3l; U. S. Senator, 1831-'37. 

Uohn Henry Eaton, of Tennessee; U. S. Senator, 1818-'29. 
Secretary of War, 1829-'31; Governor of Florida Territory, 
1834-'36; Minister to Spain, 1836.'40. Published a Life of 
Andrew Jackson. Alumnus of the University of North Caro- 

* The Tariff bill passed May 1824, increasing duties on iron 
and some agricultural products, by a vote in the House of 105 
to 102. Seven Senators from New England supported it, 
Samuel Bell of New Hampshire, John Holmes of Maine, Wm. 
A. Palmer and Horatio Seymour of Vermont, Nehemiah R. 
Knight of Rhode Island, Henry W. Edwards and James Lan- 
man of Connecticut. The vote was 24 to 21. 

^Walter Lowrie of Pennsylvania; U. S. Senator 1819-'25; 
Secretary of the Senate 1825-'36. 

Lowrie, who was a Crawford man, authorized the publica- 
tion of a statement that General Jackson had advised Monroe to 
appoint two Federalists in his Cabinet. Jackson and Monroe 
denied this, but after much agitation of the subject the let- 
of Jackson, which was the foundation of the statement, was 
published. It was found to contain such expressions as, "to 
exterminate that monster called party spirit," '*to select char- 
acters most conspicuous for their probity, virtue, capacity, 
and firmness, without regard to party," and a recomendation 
to appoint to the war department Colonel Drayton, who had 
been a Federalist before the war. Crawford men at least 
thought Lowrie had proved his allegation substantially, as 
Macon says. Jackson however was not injured. 

Colonel William Drayton was a Representative in Congress 


from South Carolina, 1425-'33. He was Colonel and Inspector 
General in the war of 1812. 

Macon to Tanccy. 

Washington 25 Deer. 1824 

A day or two before I received your letter of the 
22 instant, I had written you a full Sheet, about 
matters & thing-sin general; today I told Saunders' 
he ought to give all the news about the shyhogging 
on the election of a president, he answered, he had 
written you on the subject; 

With you, I consider the present times vastly im- 
portant. The question most important before the 
people, & the legislatures of the Union and the 
States is this, at least according to my poor Judg- 
ment; Can the federal government do whatever it 
deems expedient; or in other words can it promote 
the general welfare in any way it pleases: if it be so 
the rights of a minority are at the will of majority, 
the constitution of the U. S. is either limitted or un- 
limitted, if limittod the rights of a minority are pro- 
tected by it & do not depend on the will of a major- 
ity: The majority want no law nor rule, both are 
made to secure the minority; This paragraph may 
be taken as part of my other letter 

All parties here are I believe very anxious to know 
who will i)e the successor of Burton ' in the H. of R., 
I have been repeatedly asked, who I thought would be 
the man: I answered, I had no information upon 
which to base an opinion 

Claims often heretofore rejected, will I expect pass 
very easy this Session, because there are three mil- 
lions of dollars statcfl to be in the Treasury, beyond 
the demands on it, & it is possible other circum- 
stances may aid to get improper claims through; 
money not wanted for immediate use, had always bet- 
ter be in the hands of the people: money ought nev- 
er to be borrowed unless certainly wanted; people 
who borrow often and much, never get rich, the 
banks I think could prove this, and borrowing gov- 


ernments are not apt to get out of debt, witness 
Great Britain 

The enclosed paper ' contains a letter from Capt. 
Porter, on which no comment will be made, if G. 
Britain was in the place of Spain, a war might be 

The Senate * has not acted on the bill from the 
H. of R. the object of which is to take possession of 
the mouth of Oregon (Columbia) river: I do not 
covet distant posts, the trade in the South Sea, has 
been carried on ever since we were a nation; & now 
all at once; a post must be maintained there, and 
ships of the navj must be sent to protect a trade, 
which has been carried on, without protection, a fleet 
in the South Sen, another in the Mediterranean, and 
another which is actually needed in the West Indies; 
do not calculate on economy, when money can be bor- 
rowed at less than live per centum: those who hold 
the public debt, never wish it paid, its value depends 
much, on its being considered permanent 

The rulers 5 of a nation, ought not to be in debt, 
if a just and economical administration is desired by 
the people; whoever is much in debt can hardly be 
perfectly free, he is dep'^ndent onhis indebtors: and 
a nation in debt always has its strong arm of defense 
tied fast, the longest purse being the longest sword; 
whether in public or private life, those in debt, are 
generally projectors, under the hope that every new 
project may afford them some relief or make then? 
rich; & the law under which the debts were contract- 
ed, are not always the laws, by which they desire the 
payment to be made or enforced 

I have now done as I did in my last, written much 
more than was expected when I begun 

That you, & your whole family may be well & do 
well is the sincere wish of 
Your friend 

Nathl Macon 


* Romulus Mitchell Saunders, Representative in Congress 
from North Carolina, 1821-27 and 1841-45. Judge and Attor- 


ney General in North Carolina; Minister to Spain, 1846-'49. 

"Hutchins G. Burton, Representative in Congress 1819- 
'24, when he was elected Governor of North Carolina. 

Willis Alston was elected in his place and served 1825-31. 
He had already served 1803-'19. His unsucessful competitor 
in 1803 was Wm. R. Davie. 

'Commodore David Porter in suppressing piracies landed 
an armed force in Porto Rico. The Spanish Government pro- 
tested. He defended himself on the ground that the Spanish 
authorities were in complicity with the pirates and that his 
action was necessary. lie was court-martialed, convicted of 
disobedience of ordeis and suspended for six months. He re- 
signed and was for awhile in the service of Mexico. He re- 
turned to the United States and was appointed Minister to 
Turkey by Jackson. 

* This measure was championed by Mr. Floyd of Virginia, 
whose main argument was that it would be of advantage to 
the whale fishery and to the trade with China and India. 
It was objected to because of the inaccessability of the Ore- 
gon country and the likelihood that if the country should be- 
come populous, it could not possibly be incorporated into the 
Union. The vote against it in the House was 100 to 61. 
The Rail Road system has destroyed the force of these ar- 

John Floyd, Representative from 1817 to 1829; Governor of 
Virginia 1829-'34. He was father of John ]]. Floyd, Govern- 
or of Virginia, 1850-'53; Secretary of War, 1857-'6(); Briga- 
dier General of the Confederate States. 

5 Probably a thrust at Clay, who wasoiten involved in debt. 
Once his debts were rliscliarged by his friends, James C. 
Johnston, of E^Knton, being one of the number. He is said 
to have been much addicted to gambling. Webster was also 
very careless of pecuniar\M)bligations, but as he was not a 
candidate for the Presi<lency, Mr. Macon hardly had him in 


Wm. Barry Grove to James Hogg, 

Philadelphia, March 17, 1791. 
Dear Sir 

I have the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of 
your letter of the 12th Feby under Cover of your oblig- 
ing favor of the 25th from Wilmington: In reply to 
the former I cant help wishing you had been at New- 
bern,' as I think tis probable you could have devised 
something that might have been favourable; your in- 
formation however of the good spirits amd firmness of 
our Western friends afford me s<^me Consolation, and 
I heartily join you & them in promising ourselves 
better times, & fairer Representation ' in our Genl 
Assembly. As a Trustee ^ rely on my attendance amd 
exertion at Hillsboro, where I hope to be if I am 
alive to assist so far as in my power to promote the 
Institution. — As to the late Assembly doing more, 
harm, than good, so far as their proceedings have 
gone respecting the Ordinance* matter I join you; 
tho tiiey have done good in Lending the Univ. SOOOjC,^ 
and I am indeed pleased at the extension of time & 
priviledges allowed our Canal Company;* as to the 
other business I have heard or seen little more than 
merely the Caption of the Laws passed, from which 
one cant judge; and my friends while at Newbern were 
not as communicative as I had reason to expect, from 
my attention to them. 

I am really concerned to understand that business 
is dull at Fayetteville, your reason for it I think alto- 
gether probable, to encourage Commerce at our little 
Town ought to be the Wish of every friend to Cape- 
. fear. 

You surprise me when you say Moore' has not de- 
livered the Lock. I hope he does not mean to let the 
Winter pass away, and keep us aback another Sum- 
mer for Want of that Lock — I approve of the plan 
for the first Lock, the upper works which it seems is 
most likely to decay can be repaired at small expense 
-you say that the Lock now to be undertaken by Mr 
Monroe ' is for the Second Seat, where is the One at 
present finished to be placed — I shall before I leave 
this Country at the rise of Congress make mysell 
particularly acquainted with every information and in- 


teligence relative to the proposed Navig-ation in this 
State &c &c ag^reeable to your directions — I am glad 
Mr Hay' can afford any assistance toward facilitating- 
the Work on my account; tis what I have much at 
heart. — 

I am glad you have received Mcintosh'* and that it 
pleases you. — before now you will have heard of the 
final passage & ratification of the Post-oflSce & Post 
road Law, cind that our elder Sister Wilmington and 
her Sons, have no just cause to exclaim at a Want of 
attention to their interests in the regulation of the 
Post roads; the old route as you speak of from Vir- 
gia. by Edenton, Washington, & Newbern is contin- 
ued to W. ton, and We have added to this a Cross 
Post from Wnton to Fayette, far be it from me to at- 
tempt, (if I had it in my power) to do any thing that 
should, injure the Town or Citizens of Wilmington; 
I have always been convinced that tht true interests 
of that Tovju and of our own was the same, they are 
surely* by Nature inseperaoly connected, and why 
should they be jealous of each other; I Could Venture 
to pronounce the man who wishes to Create any other 
sentiments, as an Enemy to both places; it would be 
like parting Man & Wife When we reflect on the 
circumstances and manner which the More interior 
parts of our State have been heretofore treated on 
the subject of Posts, We are the persons who should 
complain — I may venture to say with great safety, 
that had the present new route been established at 
the Commencement of the New Governt. our Citizens 
would not have been so shamefully pillaged of their 
Certifes." as they have been for want of a conveyance 
of information among the people, this has not only 
been a real loss to individuals but to the State; had 
our own People held their Paper Credit, they would 
have gained the advantage of the increased Value, 
and become friends and attached to that Government 
which they Now in some measure abhor — Mr Hamil- 
ton thinks as I do on this subject, and expresses real 
Concern at the event: since North Carolinas future 
importance begins to be known from the riches & 
Population, our Ministers &c will be cautious how 
they recommend measures in opposition to our Will 
and interests. 


It appears to me indeed that the Apostate " T-y in 
his late vote and conduct was actuated by Chagrin & 
resentment of them, he lost sight of the true interests 
of his Constituents to gratify such passions, he is not 
fit to represent Freemen^ and should be, as I think he 
will be dispised by those who were before his friends, 
and thereby become a proper example for future pub- 
lic Characters. — 

I am very happy our Saw Mill proprietors are like- 
ly to get a good Market for Lumber. I think it 
probable the disturbences in the We Indies will have 
an effect to keep that article in demand. — 

The subject of the Cession " of our Western Lands 
at the late Treaty with the Cherokee Indians, is most 
undoubtedly a very important and interesting event 
to the Citizens of No. Carolina, and I apprehend will 
be a perplexing affair to Congress: The pai>ers rela- 
tive to that business came enclosed to Doer. W-n *^ 
and are now before Congress, but as the Session is so 
hear a close and so much business to be acted on be- 
fore that affair can be taken up, that I fear no de- 
cision ** can be had on the subject before we rise, 
however every attenticm shall be paid it. — The Mem- 
morials of the No Carolina Merchants '^ have been 
read and referred to the Committee of the Whole 
House but has not yet been taken up; every person 
confesses the peculiar hardship of their Situation, 
but seem to think that Congress have not the power 
of redressing the grievance, I have myself long con- 
ceived the Citizens of our Country under these Cir- 
cumstances in a very deplorable situation. 

It was generally believed when Mr Hammond first 
came to America that some Negociation would be af- 
fected wh. might put things with respect to the 
Treaty, & Commerce on a proper footing; but latterly 
I have heard it suggested that there is little proba- 
bility of those important events being brought about 
just now, between Mr II- and our Executive- this in- 
formation is not from the best authority- indeed that 
would be in a measure impossible to be attained as 
the Senators are not very communicative on any mat- 
ters before them. — 

Congress'' has been engaged in a troublesome in- 
vestigation for some days past on a Contested Elec- 


tion from Georgia between Genel. Wayne & Genl. 
Jackson; the Election is set aside and a New appoint- 
ment must take place. 

The Indian operations have induced a pretty con- 
siderable augmentation of Troops, consequently the 
expenses for the defense of the frontier is greatly 
increased more funds for this end than the Surplus 
in our Coffers it seems will be necessary — I suppose a 
Loan will be the plan — as a further tax would be 
highly impolitic at this time. We expect before the 
rise of this Session to amend the Excise Law by re- 
ducing the tax 8 Qents^ and ameliorating the other 
parts as respects searches &c &c &c— 

As I send the papers regularly to Fayetteville to 
be filed at Col. Dekeysers for the inspection of the 
public, I beg leave to refer you to them generally for 
the News of Philadela. &c., and also my other friends 
who I hope will demand a perusal of them when ever 
they please; the information they contain will possi- 
bly be a little stale before they reach Fayetteville but 
when we get the new line of Posts established you 
shall hear from the Capitol in 8 days or 9 at farthest, 
after the 8k of June, I hope you will encourage the 
publishing of a paper at our Town We can certainly 
Support so desirable a thing — 

There can be no excuse for want of News when the 
New Posts are fixed — 

I am sincerely sorry to hear Mr Huskes* health 
still continues so unfavorable, and of the many deaths 
about Wilmington this Winter — 

I would ask pardon for the length of my letter, but 
when I reflect that if We were only together for 15 
Minutes I could communicate much more than it con- 
tains about Locks, Canals, Politics &c &c. I think the 
apoligy unnecessary — Bo so ^ood as to remember me 
to all friends — Believe me with respect and esteem 

Dear Sir 

your friend 

& very Hum Sert. 

W. B. Grove. 

Philadela. March 17h-1792 
James Hogg esq 



' The General Assembly met at Newbern in 1791. 

•By the Constitution of 1776 each county was entitled to 
one Senator and two members of the House of Commons. 
Many eastern counties were small and some western had ten 
times as many voters. The irregularity was partially rem- 
edied in 1835. 

'Of the University, chartered in 1789. The meeting was 
on the 4th of August, 1792, and it was then that the Board 
chose by ballot Cypritt's Bridge in Chatham county as the 
centre of a circle of thirty miles diameter within which the 
institution should be located. The Commissioners of Loca- 
tion, were, Frederick Hargett, Senator from Jones county, 
Alexander Mebane, of Orange, soon to be a Representative in 
Congress, James Hogg, merchant of Payetteville, Wm. H. 
Hill, a Representative in Congress, David Stone, likewise a 
Representative in Congress, and Willie Jones, of Halifax, a 
very influential citizen, not then in oflSce. 

*The Convention of 1788 enjoined upon the General Assem- 
bly to take steps for locating the state capital within a circle 
of twenty miles diameter of which Isaac Hunter's plantation 
in the county of Wake was the centre. This was very offen- 
sive to the people of the Cape Fear valley and of the regions 
west because they desired the capital to be at Fayetteville. 
The Act carrying out the ordinance was therefore displeasing 
to Grove. 

'Equal to $10,000; for the purpose of finishing the **01d 
East" Building, the first erected. The loan was afterwards 
converted into a gift. 

• The Canal Company was organized to make the Cape Fear 
navigable to the junction of the Haw and Deep rivers in the 
county of Chatham. A town, called Haywood, was there 
laid out and was expected to be a considerable commercial 

' Contractors for the Canal Company. The locks being of 
timber soon went to pieces. 


® John Hay, eminent lawyer of Fayetteville. 

'Sir James Macintosh's Vindiciae Gallicae, published in 
1791, as an answer to Burke's eloquent assault on the French 
Revolution. It was very popular in America as long as the 
French fever lasted. 

""One of the strongest arguments against Hamilton's 
scheme of funding the debts of .the United States and of the 
States was that original holders of the certificates, had sold 
them at a great sacrifice. James Jackson, of Georgia, after- 
wards United States Senator and Governor, said, * 'Three 
vessels have sailed within a fortnight from this port, freight- 
ed for speculation; they are intended to purchase up the State 
and other securities in the hands of the uninformed, though 
honest citizens of North Carolina, South Carolina and 
Georgia." Hamilton's plan prevailed after much opposition. 

"James Terry, Senator from Richmond county, did not 
stand by Fayetteville in the desperate efforts of her friends 
to secure the location of the seat of Government at that town. 
He was probably influenced by General Henry W. Harring- 
ton, of his county, one of the Commissioners who selected 
the Raleigh site and after whom Harrington Street in 
Raleigh was named. 

" By the treaty of Holston, large areas were given up to 
the Cherokees. It was ratified in 1786. By a new treaty, 
that of Hopewell, in 1791, much land was yielded to the 
whites but the rest remained with the Indians. These In- 
dian lands were mainly in Tennessee and in Georgia. 

"3 Hugh Williamson, then member of Congress from the 
Edenton District. He was Professor of Mathematics, Uni* 
versity of Pennsylvania, l760-'4; Surgeon General of North 
Carolina during the latter part of the Revolutionary war; 
member of the Continental Congress, l784-'86; delegate to 
the Constitutional Convention of 1787; Representative in 
Congress, 1790-93; removed to New York; died May 22, 1819. 
He published **Observations on the Climate of America;" 
History of North Carolina, 1812; and many papers ou scien- 
tific and political subjects. 


^ In 1783, North Carolina opened a land office to receive 
entries of land in the limits of what is now Tennessee, for 
the redemption of military and other certificates. Many sur- 
veys were made and grants issued. By the treaty of Holston, 
most of the territory was yielded to the Indians, North Car- 
olina protesting throug"h her agent and General Assembly. 
Thomas Person and many other claimants of these lands pe- 
titioned Congress for proper compensation, which was refused. 
Subsequently they were granted right of preemption when- 
ever the Indian title should be removed. 

'* On the subject of seizure of our ships. An order in Coun- 
cil of Great Britain had been interpreted to authorize the 
seizure of all neutral vessels carrying provisions to France. 
This interpretation was afterwards disavowed, but not until 
much damage had been done. 

** George Hammond was the first British minister to the 
United States, and Thomas Pinckney was the first from the 
United States to Great Britain. Hammond arrived in 1791 
and left 17%. 

*' General Anthony Wayne, after the Revolutionary War, 
settled in Georgia on a plantation given him by that slate. 
James Jackson was a prominent officer of the Revolution. 
He was a Representative in Congress, 1789-'91; Senator, 
l793-'95 and 1801-W); and Governor of Georgia, 1798-1801. 
General Wayne was unseated in 1792 on account of irregu- 
larities in the election. In the same year he was appointed 
to be Commander-in-Chief of the army and conquered the 
Northwestern Indians. After being unseated he declined to 
run again and was succeeded by John Milledge. 

**Mr. John Huske, a merchant. He was son of the Private 
Secretary to Governor Burke, who was captured by Colonel 
David Fanning, with the Governor, and carried off to Wil- 
mington. He left numerous descendants. 

Grove to Hogg, 

Dear Sir 

For want of a Senate there could be no business 


done untill the 20th Nov. when a quorum of that 
Body were present and enabled the Machine to pro- 
ceed; the day following- the President laid before both 
Houses his communications & details of the state of 
the Union during- the recess of Cono^ress — I have no 
doubt but you have seen a copy of his speech or ad- 
dress, and the answers of both Houses thereto as they 
have been inserted in all the newspapers, these pa- 
pers contain all of the news worth relating- here, and 
to theq;i I refer you, as the object of the present is 
only to inform you that I presented your letter 
& memorial* to all the Gentlemen from No C. 
ag^reeable to desire, who I doubt not will do all in 
their power to obtain redress for the Petitioners. 

The memorial it is thought should not be presented 
untill the Deeds &c. are here, as tis on their authori- 
ty the claims are founded. I mention this to induce 
you to hasten them along^: dont let any one Letter ex- 
ceed 2 oz weight when you forward the deeds, if by 
post. — was there no existing Law of the State, Proc- 
lamation of the Crown or other Lawfull Mandate, for- 
bidding Individuals or Companies of Subjects from 
purchasing these Lands at the time of the Indians? in- 
formation on this, or any other subject that may occur 
relative to the business may be necessary. 

Remember me to all my acquaintences about your 
place, and believe me to be with respect 
Your Hum Servt. 

W. B. Grove 

Phila. 4th Deer. 1794. 

Mr. John Hogg" left this on the 1st for Carolina, 
he will inform you, the taxes of your Land in Ken- 
tucky must be paid before April, or they will be sold- 

James Hogg Esq. 


' Memorial on the subject of the Transylvania land hereto- 
fore mentioned. The grants of North Carolina and Virginia. 


were available after the extinction of the Indian title. See 
next letter. 

"John Hog-g- was a cousin and a partner of James Hogg. 

Grove to Hogsf, 

3d Apl. 1794. 
Dear Sir 

I had began to form conjectures what had be- 
come of you, and whether our late misfortunes in Fay- 
etteville might not incline you to forget that Town 
& those belonging to it. Your oblig^ing- letter how- 
ever of the 6tn ^larch relieved me, and gave me con- 
solation to find you had not lost sight of the interest 
of that unfortunate Spot, and that of its inhabitants — 
The Assembly leaving us so soon was to me an unex- 
pected, and mortifying circumstance, and the late Fire 
seem'd to add misfortune, on misfortune — but still I 
hope we shall not be among the last — I hope yet to 
see our Town rise above its misfortunes and its ene- 
mies — As I presumed before now you have seen all 
that has been said by Mr. Jefferson on the one part, 
and Mr. Hammond on the other Relative to inexecu- 
tion of the Treaty, I need say nothing on that subject 
as the Correspondence & Reasoning will wince [con- 
vince] any Man on which side the Reason & justice 
of the investigation Rests; In answer to what you 
ask respecting- Mr. Jeffersons disapprobation of the 
measures of the Executive, I am informed they did not 
extend to the steps taken ag-ainst Mr. Genet &c the 
letters on that subject were quite consonant to his 
own feelings as an American, but tis said he differed 
on some subjects with the other heads of Departments 
while the President was in Virginia — the Circum- 
stance of his moderation adds to his honor and worth 
on that occation, as I have heard the Case; the 'French 
Privateer Little Democrat, would have been Fired on 
on &c had he not refused his assent, the Consequenc- 
es might have been attended with much evil at that 
time — 

It is a Melancholy thing that such virtue as that 
man' possesses should ever be lost to this country 
while We stand in need of such Characters-his success- 


or is a Compared to him either as to Virtue, 

knowledge — Republicanism, or Rational (Liberty &) 
Equality — Dont mistake me he is no anarchy man- 
no Demagogue of the mob — But he is for a plain Gov- 
ernment and Adminisn. agreeably to the Principles 
and form of our Political association and Republican 
form of Government — He is for no Heterog-enius 
introductions of Monarchy &c — Not even in our 
forms, or amusements — Let reason and equal rights 
and equal Laws obtain — The Committee on the 
Western Lands^ have Reported Very favorably, but 
I will not flatter you on the adoption of the Report by 
the Legislature, for I know the thing will be power- 
fully opposed, principally on the ground that the 
State had never extinguished the Indian claims & 
had no right to sell those Lands — We will do what 
we can — You will before this reaches you have 
heard that Congress have been making serious prep- 
aration for the National defence &c. Such objects 
are particular requisite in a Country so unguarded as 
America is at present, but that aspect which some 
Conduct of Great Britian Wears, towards this coun- 
try of late seems to justify & Call loudly for an im- 
mediate preparation of Defence. As I expect this 
letter will meet you at Fayetteville I refer you to my 
Correspondence on this subject to my friends & Con- 
stituents there, through Doer. Ingram, Mr. Hay, & 
Mr. Taylor* — but I cannot forbear saying to you that 
the Court of St James has most unprovokedly acted 
towards America an unbecoming, unjust, and perfid- 
ious part — and that We have good reason to believe 
(if the events in France have not Checked it) that 
measures were taking to destroy the Peace harmony, 
& Government of United America — 

These things you will naturally suppose have 
alarmed us all here, and turned the attention of Con- 
gress to the objects of Self Defence and preservation. 
We are taking the necessary steps to bar our Doors, 
& Repel invasions — if they should be attempted — 
In short We mean to act just as you would do your- 
self, if your House was beset by a band of Robbers, 
fly to your arms and defend your property — An Em- 
bargo has been laid for 30 Days, it was principally 
intended to prevent any more of our vessels fallinginto 


these Pirates hands of the We. Indies, until We could 
hear more of matters in that quarter & from Eng-- 
land — * We have information the orders issued bj 
the British Court the 6th Nov. to seize and take all 
Neutral (that is American) Vessels &c for '*Legal 
adjudication" has been revoked bj New orders issued 
8 Jany. and relaxing- considerably of former restric- 
tions on our Commerce — The principal Traders and 
Merchants in London as soon as they knew of the 
orders of the 6th Nov. (which by the way were issued 
privately) were very properly alarmed perceiving* 
the consequences & effects it would pfoduce in Amer- 
ica, they wailed immediately on Mr. Dundas as We 
are informed. Who assured them the words * 'Legal 
adjudication" meant nothing which could affect Amer- 
ican property, the Judges however Who it seems had 
the intention construed to them, had actually Con- 
demned great part of 250 American Vessels & Car- 
g-oes under the orders — and We are left to believe 
from that business and some other matters, these 
words would have meant all the Judg-es annexed to 
them, had not the face of Politics wore a different ap- 
pearance in France on the 8th Jany, than on the 6th 
Nov. — 

I hope, and feel confidant that all the Wourld who 
are impartial, must admit that the people and Gov- 
ernt. of America, are not to blame if this Country 
should be engaged in war with Britain — and even now 
we shall hold in one hand the Olive branch and sue 
for Peace and justice in the Name of *'We the Peo- 
ple of America" — Should it be refused — War I sup- 
pose must be the event, and the other hand which 
grasps the strength of the Nation will be used, & I 
can not help thinking that the energ-y, force & Ven- 
g-eance of Free America will be next to the Wrath of 
G — d — I send you some papers preserve them, & 
make them public — 
I am 
Dear Sir 

Your friend 

& Very Hum Sev 

W. B. Grove. 

Mr. James Hogg. 



* *-The Little Sarah" belonging to the British had been cap- 
tured by a French privateer and brought into Philadelphia. 
With the connivance and aid of Genet, the French minister, she 
was fitted out as a privateer. This was against our neu- 
trality laws and measures were taken by the administration 
to stop her. On the assurance of Genet that the vessel would 
not be ready to sail for some time, forcible measures were 
not resorted to, as Hamilton and Knox advised. Genet 
broke his word and the vessel, newly named **The Little Dem- 
ocrat," sailed to prey upon English commerce. It was manned 
by American seamen. Washington was on a visit to Mt. 

'Jefferson resigned in 1794. He had gained the good will 
of all parties by his spirited action against the insolence of 
Genet. He retired to his farm at Monticello and there con- 
tinued for three years keeping himself in touch with public 
men by his pen and hospitality, 

^Heretofore explained. 

^ Doctor Ingram was not a public man. Mr. Taylor was 
John Louis Taylor then a member of the House of Commofts, 
afterwards the first Chief Justice of the State of North Caro- 
lina. He afterwards resided in Newbern and then in Raleigh 
where he is buried. 

Grove to James Hogg. 

Philaa. Jany 23d— 1794 
Dear Sir 

On arrival here I found that Congress had just got 
through reading the numerous communications laid 
before them by the Executive, most of my leisure time 
since has been devoted in perusing those papers 
which I have accomplished and have now time to 
think of my friends, and altho the information con- 
tained in some of those papers produce gloomy reflec- 
tions and nothing very pleasant to communicate, yet 
my mind tells me I should write you things might have 


been worse — as I take it for granted you have seen all 
the correspondence which passed between the Secre- 
tary of State, & the French Minister I need not en- 
ter into any detail on the imprudence and conduct 
of Monsier Genet — I shall only remark that very late 
despatches from the Executive Counsel of France ex- 
press regret in this misunderstanding &c and assures 
the President that nothing of that nature shall or 
can effect the friendly regards the French people 
have for the American nation — What has passed be- 
tween the Secrey of State, & the British Minister re- 
specting the incxecution of the Treaty of Peace &c, 
I suspect you have not seen, as it has not yet got in- 
to the papers; the subject as handled by them, is in- 
deed interesting & important and brings to mind past 
scenes & transactions of a tender & melancholy na- 
ture — Mr Hammond states at large the Complaints 
of his Court, of the Non-compliance & infractions of 
the Treaty on the part of America, urging the denial 
of Restoring the Loyalists, the continuation of con- 
fiscations, and above all the non payment of the Brit- 
ish debts & interest &c &c— to these things Mr 
Jefferson has replied very fully, and in a masterly 
manner on the part of this Country proved that these 
charges are in a great degree not founded in exact- 
ness The documents to prove his assertion are an- 
nexed; he asserts that the two first subjects, the 
Restoration &c, & the further confiscation, were not 
by the Treaty absolute articles nor intended to be so, 
by the Commissioner for Negociating Peace as ap- 
pears by their correspondence &c on these subjects 
at the time, he argues that the recommendatory ar- 
ticles considering a// things had been more fully com- 
plied with than was generally expected — and that as 
to the Debts No Lawful impedement exists to prevent 
their recovery; as to interest^ he argues and proves 
by the laws of England under the present circumstan- 
ces none should be demanded, & that theCommisrs for 
Treating of peace understood the thing so, & left the 
subject open to the power to whom it belonged, the 
Judiciaries in the respective States & Jurors — I 
am of opinion his reason on this subject will be 
thought sound by those who are disinterested; he then 
proceeds to complain of the Violations of the Treaty 


on the part of Gr Britain, he states that as soon as 
the Treaty was known & hostilities ceased, palpable 
infractions were committed under the authority of 
that g-overnment to possiiive articles of the treaty, 
that 3000 Negroes had been taken out of the Country 
altho remonstrances on that subject were made, that 
No orders ever have issued for withdrawing his Maj- 
esties Troops out of out" Country &c &c &c these ex- 
planations took place in June 1792 since which noth- 
ing further has passed on the subject, except that Mr. 
J.s representation was transmitted to St James shortly 
after its date and no answer yet made, only that Mr. 
Pinckney' mentions that Lord Granville' should have 
said to him he approved of Mr. J.s answer to Mr. H.s 
letter respecting the inexecution of the Treaty, from 
this tis to be hoped & expected all controversies on 
that score will soon h^ forever removed by a full com- 
pliance of all things therein stipulated — Somelate^ 
Treaties & regulations entered into by Great Britain 
with Russia, Sardinia, & Spain afford cause of fear 
and complaint on the part of America, particularly 
as regards our commerce our Trade has already been 
much cramped & injured by these Regulations which 
added to the Negoceation of Gt Britain & Spain with 
the Algerians has inflamed the minds of many to a 
considerable degree; in Septr. our minister was direct- 
ed immedeately to Remonstrate against these regula- 
tions which amount to flagrant Violation of the Laws 
of Nations as respects the rights of a Neutral power; 
he was also requested to make known on the 8th Deer, 
the success of this business, that it should be known 
before Congress adjourns — the Algerian business is of 
a latter date and would have been the ruin of many in 
this Country only for the Convoy granted to 40 Amer- 
ican Vessels by the Queen of Portugal, who it seems 
is displeased with the unasked friendship or interpo- 
sition of England and Spain in bringing about the 
Truce between her Majesty & Spain & these sad Pi- 
rates, the effect of which would be to prevent that 
trade to her Dominions from America which is bene- 
ficial to both Nations — These things among others 
he ve been the cause of a set of Resolutions being 
Moved in the House of Repres. proposing to lay ad- 
ditional Duties on the Manufactures and Vessels of 


Nations not having- Commercial Treaties with Amer- 
ica, particularly to effect great Gt. Britain so long as 
she may refuse to come into commercial Regulations 
with us upon terms of just and reasonable Reciproc- 
ity; many and Various are the advantages expected 
from such a system of Politics; tis said it would un- 
doubtedly oblige that Government to come upon terms 
with us, & admit us into her We. Indies &c &c- that 
she cannot nor will not live comfortably without our 
Custom as consumers, nor without our Produce most 
of which to them is an actual Necessary of Life, and 
that now is the time to insist in this way for as free 
a trade, as we grant them, by which means the Value 
of our produce would be considerably & immedeately 
inhanced, & that it would free us from those indigni- 
ties and shackles in future which have been Utterly 
thrown on the growing Commerce of our Country- 
these are some of the reasons advanced by those who's 
Purity of sentiments I have no right to doubt but 
who's Politics as respects this subject does not work 
conviction in my Mind I am strongly impressed with 
an idea that Politics, & Commerce should if possible 
be kept seperate & distinct, and I can not help think- 
ing it wants nothing but a little more Refinement 
among Nations who are Commercial to Make it so — If 
from Political Motives two powers were to engage in 
War, I am fully of opinion it would be to the real in- 
terest of both parties to suffer an uninterrupted 
Trade — I am of opinion in this commercial subject 
before Congress, Political feelings are to much allud- 
ed to — I confess myself chagrined at the appearance 
of the unfriendly dispositions Manifested by Spain & 
Britain towards my country, yet I can not think of 
doing by way of experiment to injure them, what I 
feel conscious might injure the Commercial and agri- 
cultural interests of America, at least/or a time\ the 
increase of imports & Value of Exports evinces the 
good state of our Trade to a Moderate degree, and 
the rapid addition of American Tonnage is a strong 
proof of the advantages already given to American 
Shipping by our Laws, and the improvements and 
progression of Manufactures among ourselves is a 
further proof of the good effects of the protecting 
duties on Certain Articles — Let us not be too anxious 


for the Golden eg-g^s, thej will all come in due time 
lis to be hoped;and Let us not suffer the Constitution^ 
of the Eag^le that produces them, to be impared, bj 
too many stimulating applications. — Cong^ress has 
several matters of moment before them but have done 
nothing^ of consequence finally — I understood the As- 
sembly have actually adjourned to Wake% not one of 
my friends have acquainted me how or when this was 
done, I really did not expect this event would have 
taken place so soon, pray inform mc how it was ef- 
fected, circumstanced as thingfs are at the City. 

I am informed the Landholders^ are to apply to this 
Session of Congress for redress, you remember I told 
you all documents to prove the extinguishment of 
Indian rig-hts would be Necessary — 

I shall now concluiie this Long- Letter with request- 
ing to offer my respects to Mrs Hogg & family, and 
to my olher friends in llillsboro. — 
I am 
Dear Sir 

with respect and Esteem 
your friend 
& Huml sert. 
W. B. Grove 
N. B. 

To forget saying anything of French Politics 
would be heine«ais — they as usual present to the Wourld 
a new scene. Their want of moderation is still to be 
lamented, but their Valour & Courage surmount every 
thing, their determination to be Free will baffle all 
attempts to the contrary — they have been in a singu- 
lar Manner Victorious every Where — Duke of York' 
basiled to Engl and, Coburg& Claircraft are defeated- 
Ostend is taken &c &c &c &c. 

I have opened this letter to contradict part of the 
French News, tis now said the Duke has not fled & 
that Oslentl is not taken — 

I will write Mr. Alves next post, be so good as to 
tell him the Transfers of Inler^ has not come on from 
Genl. Skinners office yet — tho it should have been 
here before now 

[James Hogg Esquire 


jalfbs sprunt historical mokooraphs 101 


'Thomas Pinckney of South Carolina; Major in Revolu- 
tionary War; Governor of South Carolina, 1789-'92; Minister 
to Great Britain, 1792 '94; Minister to Spain, 1794-'96; Rep- 
resentative in Congress, 1797-1801; Major General in the 
War of 1812. He was the brother of Charles Coteswofth 
Pincknej and cousin of Charles Pinckney. 

* Wm. Lord Grenville (not Granville), the Secretary of State 
for Foreign Affairs, afterwards Prime Minister. 

^ The Algerines held some American sailors as slaves. 
Portugal had quarelled with Algiers and for some time kept 
its piratical vessels confined in the Mediterranean. The Brit- 
ish Consul at Algiers procured a truce by which the vessels 
were allowed to pass the Straits of Gibraltar, thus leaving 
them at liberty to prey on American Commerce. Eventually 
in 1805 a treaty was made under which one million dollars 
was paid for the release of American captives and an annual 
tribute in addition. After the War of 1812 Commodore Decatur 
with twelve ships forced a new treaty, granting an indem- 
nity, release from tribute and a promise not to make slaves of 
prisoners of war. Decatur then brought Tunis and Tripoli 
to terms. 

The treaties mentioned by Mr. Grove between Great Britian 
and Russia,. Sardinia and Spain were thought to put those 
nations on a better fo )ting in regard to neutral rights than 
the United States. 

^The Retaliatory Resolutions of 1790 failed. They were 
brought forward again in 1794 but, it appearing that Great 
Britain had modified its offensive order of June of the pre- 
ceding year, its advocates acquiesced in sending a special 
Minister, John Jay, to negotiate a treaty. 

5 The General Assembly held its first meeting at Raleigh, 
the Seat of Government, in November, 1794. 

*This refers to the application of Thomas Person and others 
heretofore explained. 

'Frederick Augustus, Duke of York and Albany, second 


son of George III. In 1793 he was sent to the Netherlands in 
command of an expedition to act with the Prince of Saxe- 
Coburg- against France. He gained no honor. The army 
would have been ruined but for the able management of Aber- 
cromby. He soon threw up his command and returned to 
England. The Duke of Coburg, and General Clairfait, com- 
manders of the Allied forces, were beaten and Belgium over- 

•Judge Richard Henderson, James Hogg and others bought 
an immense tract in what is now Kentucky and Tennessee 
from the Indians but the purchase was disallowed by Nf)rth 
Carolina and Virginia. Each State however gave the com- 
pany 200,000 acres. This allusion is probably to deeds for 
portions of this land. 

Grove to General Steele, 

Phila. April 2d— 94 
Dear Steele 

I believe you have heard from me twice since I reed 
your favor of 18th Feby, in those Letters I just ac- 
knowledged the rect, of yours and gave you a few 
lines on the spur of the occation without replying to 
the several matters contained in it; I have now set 
down to fulfill your request & my own inclination in 
giving you a full account of all things^ so far as is 
consistant with the length of a letter, & a regard to 
your Patience in perusing it — You afforded me con- 
solation by your observation on the Resoluts. respect- 
ing Commerce &c I was the only Member from the 
State that did not from a Principle of Policy think 
favorably of the system, Colo Gillespie ' had doubts 
but they ended in a fixed opposition, & had any final 
Votes been taken him & myself would have been alone 
from No. C — I really join you in the opinion that 
you entertain of the Views and Policy of some of the 
Dom — n Gentry, and if we Wrong them in attribu- 
ting those motives to them, tis only paying them 
part of the inters, of the Wrongs in that way\ they 
have urged on others — But the Resolutions at pres- 
ent are in a trance, and if the Motives oi the mover 


and some of the Advocates were to bring about a mis- 
understanding* between this Country & Gt. Britain, 
they arc likely to see their Views accomplished^ and 
perhaps like Deamons, so evil is produced^ thoy are 
g-ratifyed no matter from what Cause — In answer to 
your observation, relative to the Pamphleteer & his 
aid, I would not advise any man to ride a mile to Cor- 
rect them, or their dastardly squibs — tho I would put 
a black mark on them to know them again. 
, Shortly after my arrival here from the Assembly 
you & your Public Conduct was matter of conversa- 
tion at our Lodging one evening, present our friend 
Macon, The HonoL John Brown ' of the Senate^ Colo 
Blount, Colo Parker, and Colo McDowall, with some 
New England Gentln. who live at Francis's with us, 
and a certain Hif^h Priest^ of the Jews I believe, tho 
a mighty Dominion Man-^ Some of the Company by 
insinuations &c &c, **were induced to fear your Con- 
duct was disaproved of generally in our State," & in 
your own Country in particular — that you were not 
fond enough of the Virg-s, or as I replyed you were 
not subservient to them — You were too intimate with 
Mr Hamilton, as proof he had Breakfasted with you 
— **in short, time would show that the People of our 
State would desert you'' — I need not tell you to all 
these things I did not hesitate to reply in pretty warm 
terms and to lug out the monster envy vfhich I consid- 
ered had Created these sentiments — I ended by say- 
ing what I vervly believed without any flummery, 
that for every Vote you had ever given, you had an 
honorable & honest motive, & that you were the most 
Popular Man in the State, and that before the then 
Sessn. of Assembly rose, if an oppory. offered, my 
declaration would be Verifyed — so that independent 
of my pleasure at your appointment of Major General 
I felt my judgment at stake. The Honol- J — e, * 
^ '' Cauvauted^"^ ^ doni laugh at the expression, it suits 
the idea I meant to convey, and you know lis ortho- 
dox from the Detivation; he felt for the honor of his 
Honol. friend, & all the Honol. Military Gentl. of his 
District &c — I laughed, I soothed, I reasoned, I did 
better, I told him as he was inelligeble from the pres- 
ent Honol. stalicm he was in, I did not know a man 
in the Division so proper in my opinion as yourself — 


this in a degree lulled his active soul to rest — If he 
had less Vanity & a little more understanding- he 
would be passable — all these things as you say are a 
sort of Confidential scribble — 

To give you a tolerable idea of the Worthies of 
Congress is no easy job — of the New Hands however 
I shall try to give you some impression of the abili- 
ties &c of the Speakers so far as I am Capable of 
judging — lets begin at the foundation, & at North 
Point — from N. H. Mr Sherebournc ^ is a man of 
talents and speaks handsome, tho seldom — Massts, 
Mr Dexter ^ a calm reasoner, rather refined for Com- 
mon ears, a man of good sense — Colo Lyman® often 
on the floor, not very flowery nor tedious, but a little 
of Roger Sherman' in Cun-g — Genl. Dear Borne '° an 
old Continental officer. Strong natural sense, and in 
all a pretty clever man — better fitted for the Military 
than a Legislator however — C-t- Mr Swift"-sjpeaks 
sometimes — a good natured man, tho no Orator — Mr 
Tracey " a man of humour and a strong mind, he is 
of considerable Weight — tho not very refined in his 
pronunciation or Language, he is like most of his 
Country Men clear headed, knows what he would be 
at, and has a tolerable manner of expressing himself, 
that others may see his ooject — Mr Coif* — speaks 
very seldom, tho in my opinion with perspicuity, & 
handsomely — R. L '^ — you know the old Member, & 
the new one does not Speak in the House — N. Y. 
Mr Watts '^ from the City is no Orator, but I believe 
he is a man of pretty good understanding, Mr Gil- 
bert'' — Speaks correctly, tho has an impedement — 
N — Jersey — no new Speaker — P-a- Mr. Smiley ** 
a man who was very Popular in the State Assembly, 
he is a great Demo- and taulks tolerable Well — you 
know Mr Scott '' — he is a right sensible old Man — 
D""— ,all the Oratory of that State in theSenate M Mr - 
Smith ^' of Baltimore — a Red hot flaming Speaker, a 
good Merct. — a Warm Patriot — rather too much fire 
for a Politician and a Calm Legislator — V-a- Mr 
Nicholas''^ — A good Voice & tolerable orator, he is 
too warm &.fond of annexing wrong motives to those 
who differ from him — Mr. Hairison,''^ a pleasant Man 
and speaks pretty well — N. C. — Oh, ah — yes, true — 
you are acquaint then with the Gentleman / allege — 


S. C. — Mr Hunter ^* is :i man of sound jud<jftnent, and 
a tolerable Speaker — G "^-Mr Games''*^ has Handsome 
talents for Speaking-, but from Diffidence or other 
causes, he seldom says anything- — So, I have ^one 
throug-h the Continent in the lower House, perhaps I 
have not done Gentlemen justice, but real!}' I meant 
not by what I liuve said to injure one oj them — Now 
Mr G — be so good as Step up Stairs, and take a peep 
into the Senate Chamber — That Mig-ht^ Conclave, 
where it has been Surmized Majestic Majick dwealt, 
where the illumined minds of mortals shone so brig-ht 
as to exclude the rays of light from Heaven — where 
it has been suggested that Dangerous Vice sets as a 
Mirror on a throne, to make that hateful Monster 
aristocracy lose all its proud & surly Features by 
dressing it in the garb of Drusilla — The Deception 
however is discovered, and the Lords, the Mighty 
Lords, are to be beheld as soon as accomodations can 
be prepared for the People, who in their Compassion 
•must behold some of them with Pity because they 
7nay expose their Weakness in an unguarded hour — 
to be short with you the Doors of the Senate are to be 
open next Sessn. — when some of the Within will shew 
their Nakedness — I was prent at times during the 
Discussion of Galatines Election, he has lost his seat, 
not having i)een an Actual Citizen 9 years — tho an 
Inhabitant 11 years or near it, he only wanted a few 
months - The Genl. "* is still that warm and Vocif- 
erous Orator you knew him — When below, he spoke 
so that those above, might hear. Now he wants 
those below to participate — ; Govt. Martin ^ was a 
s/i^ Advocate for opening the Doors, and gained no 
small Credit for his perseverance, & success in his 
Motion — 

It is indeed a very unpleasant thing to be confined 
in a Close room, or indeed in a ho-l-l-w L-g ^ in a 
Warm day — By the Lord you'l bring me into a 
scrape — 

You ask what influence brt. Randolph in — I answer 
it, by saying tis the question every one asks, and No 
one can tell — I think from the genl. opinion let 
what ever influence put him in, he will carry not 
much out I suspect — even the Virginians, are dis- 
pleased at the appointment — but tis said Madison 


would not accept it — It is said Knox^* & Hamilton 
will resign — I dont believe it — tho if We should have 
a War, I think tis probable Hamilton will be Commd 
in Chief — He is Certainly a Man of fine talents, 
and altho I dislike his Politics on many subjects — I 
do admire his Genius — I go very seldom to Courf 
and less to Madams than usual the Theatre takes oflF 
many Ladies — & you may often make your Bow to 
her & Miss Custis and perhaps not see five Ladies the 
whole eveng. — I suspect your remark that a Man 
should make his Nod on Tuesdays to be remembered 
is true enough — you know however the Man^ what- 
ever he may think he says little on any subject — altho 
I think he is more relaxed in his conversation than 
formerly — 

I assure you I felt concerned on hearing of the 
Death of the old Genl. " — I sincerely wish all his 
family Well and am Sorry for the Girls if he had fail- 
ed in making proper Provision for them — for in my 
opinion they are Deserving of every thing that should - 
make them Happy there not having Fortunes would 
not lessen their Worth in my Mind — and if I remem- 
ber Well I thought Pol-y- a remarkable fine Woman 
— I wish then both well Married & very Happy — 

**Hey ho-so, she has^^/ // at last has she — Does 
Anderson become a Member of your Town? I told 
Genl. Lock** the Widow was renewing her age, & 
that I expected she would Captivate him when he got 
home — Your apology for what you call trifles in 
your letter was not necessary, every thing relative to 
a Mans Country & acquaiutences is interesting to him, 
more especially when he is from home — and such lit- 
tle anecdotes are to the mind, what Syllabubs, Cus- 
tards and ice Cream are to the Stomack after a 
hearty meal, they tend to assist digestion and qualify 
the Cruder substances, as I mean to begin a new 
Sheet with a New Subject I must end this space with 
this subject — then such trifles assist, and tend^ tend; 
to fill up a Sheet as I have done this, & as Boys eat 
bread to fill up chinks 

I believe Mr Macon & myself have Warned you of 
the threatening Storm, I assure it has a dark appear- 
ance — Orders were privately issued from the Court 
of St James on the 6th Novr. to all the armed Ves- 


sels &c of his Majesty, to seize all Neutral Vessels 
bound to or from the French Islands and take them 
as Lawful prize &c— our trade to France has been 
knocked up by a similar order in Aug-t — but it beings 
made public our Merchants & Vessels conducted ac- 
cordingly and no very great injury was done further 
than preventing us pursuing a fair & profitable trade 
- remonstrance was made — and a promise in part to 
restore property &c however this further order of 6th 
Nov. was issued and put in force before our Minister 
at London knew any thin^ of the business — he wrote 
on 25th Nov. — when he informs us Lord Grenville 
expressed great respect for the Americans & their 
Neutral rights — that his Majesty was pleased at their 
prosperity and a D — n deal more such stuff — when at 
that very time or a few days before they had issued 
orders to Seize & Condemn all our Vessels which 
were on a fair Commerce, for the Americans were al- 
lowed to trade to the French Islands before the Death 
of the King nearly 2 years — We have received with- 
in a few days a taulk Delivered by Lord Dochester to 
the Indians, full of hints and insidious language, 
pointed at the Und States — he tells them tis not un- 
likely his Master may be at War with us — &c '&c. 
and that they shall find a Friend in the British Peo- 
ple either in Peace or war — that We have forfeited 
these Lands & Ports or words to that amount — Our 
Consul at St Eustatia has given us a few days ago an 
account officially of the Depredations & Spoilation 
Committed by the British Creuzers under the order 
of the 6th Nov. upward of 250 sail American Vessels 
are taken, 150 Were Condemned — and the same fate 
awaits them all — you must at once see the effect these 
things added to all other injuries produces in the pub- * 
lie mind against that faithless Government of Gr. 
Britain — In Novr. last that Perfidious Court full of 
hope & Conscious of success, from her uncommon ex- 
ertions & that of the allies against France — had be- 
yond any Manner of Doubt formed a plan of Ruiniyig 
the Commerce of America, and our growing Marine, 
of prostrating us once more at her feet where No 
Mercy is to be expected — and perhaps all ix)werful by 
her allies she meditated a Serious design of Subju- 
gating Freedom, Liberty & Republicanism, in Amer- 


icay that Spot where the Sacred flame first appeared 
in modern times, and I hope it may never be extin- 
guished but by a total annihilatioa of the Very Earth 
itself — That such a plan and System has been Con- 
templated by Britain & her Combined Despots begfins 
to appear as clear as day — They thoug^ht Conquer- 
ing France & Dividing it would be Nothing, While 
Freedom and the rights of Man in a rational sense 
remained triumphant in America, that spot where 
French Men Caught the Never dying flame, the ef- 
fects of which has Shaken Europe to its Center, and 
made every Tyrant Shudder on his Throne — I say 
they thought reducing France to her former Misery, 
would be but half the Work, they premeditated the 
putting the ax to the root, and that must be done in 
the United States — What a Scene of horror does 
the very idea present — and what feelings do they pro- 
duce in an American breast — America the assylum 
for the oppressed and Virtuous of all the World, 
where even Vice itself loses its powers in a measure, 
because there exists little inducement to be Vicious 
— Where all Men enjoy under a System of Laws equal 
rights, & equal advantages. Where the rights and in- 
terests of Strangers are guarded & protected in a 
peculiar Manner — Where the Citizens & the Govcrnt. 
in their intercourse, with other Nations^ treat them 
with Friendship, Justice, & open Candour, Where the 
Subjects of all Nations can dwell in peace & safety, 
pursue their several occupations, and retire with all 
their Effects to their Native Country, loaded with the 
Wealth they acquired among us — under such circum- 
stances is it not wonderful, is it not Melancholy, 
that there should exist a Set of Men, Combined by 
fell ambition — to Destroy the Peace & harmony of 
such a Country — Yet such has been the Case I do 
believe — and had not the French been so graciously 
successful the last Winter, I suspect American Blood, 
would have mingled With the Cut throats of Europe 
in our own Country before Next Jany — 

But the Republican French have been uncommonly 
Fortunate in repelling their Enemies, so much so as 
to give a strong hope Peace may be expected, or at 
least the fangs of the Lyon are so blunted as toappre- 
hend less danger from him — and John Bull begins to 


be tired of the business, tis believed — Tho we have 
yet got Nothing" from Mr Pinckney since Novr. — 
An Embargo is laid for 30 days, it may be the means 
of making Sir Chs Jervis and his troops in the We 
Indies keep tent; until we know more of matters — tho 
we have by way of We Indies a New Set of instruc- 
tions of the 8h J any — annulling the orders of the 6th 
Novr. and giving Americans some little more freedom 
of trade, but We will shew them before We are Done, 
Americans dont intend to obey the King & Council — 
as our fore Fathers did; they order Matters better in 
America Now — a Resolution has been under Discus- 
sion for two days proposing to Sequester all British 
debts to be pd. into the Treasury as a fund to pay 
the Amern. Citizens in case Justice is not done them 
by the British Govert — I confess I do not like to 
meddle with private Contracts, but really I see no 
other mode of Securing such a faithless Governt. to 
Keep the Peace & Do Justice — 

We have a plan before us for organizing 80 Militia 
— I send you the plan as Reported, to raise 800 More 
Men to guard the Several Ports and Provisionally 
15000 Regulars in Case of War these things will as- 
tonish you I am sure, tho they are only propositions 
— I am for No other force than the Young Men of the 
Militia from 18 to 25 — or so and particularly while 
tis Not Certain we shall Want no other force — The 
increase of Expenses, Fortifications, purchasing arms 
&c &c &c will make the current expenses upwards of 
five & one half Million Dollars for 94 — the probable 
Deficiences of Revinue is 2,340,000 Dollrs. deducting 
the probable Deficiences of impost — I am one of 15 
— a Committee on this subject to report ways & 
means — We have done Nothing final yet, we had a 
Meeting yesterday, & had Secry H — before us, he ap- 
peared cursedly Mortifyed- - Those on the Commit- 
tee who had been always opposed to References to 
him on this Subject made no great Show — I ex- 
pected Mr Madison would have come forward with 
some System but he did not — I suspect We Shall 
Employ the Secry yet — Stamps on Law papers & 
assignments was proposed be taxed as one fund. Car- 
riages of Pleasure, and finally Land — I really fear 
We shall be obliged to lay a small tax on Land, or 


Polls What do 3^bu think- Will the People run 
the risque of leaving our Country in a defenceless 
State rather than pay a Land tax — 

I signed a paper a few days ago drawn up by Haw- 
kins, addressed to the People of the State, tis to be 
in Hodges paper— I dont know that it Can do any 
harm, but on reflection I wish I had not put my Name 
to it — Macon was the only one that did not sign it 
— all our acquainlences are Well — Farewell my 
Dear Sir and let me hear from you— Adieu 

W. B. Grove 

Genl. Steele 


' James Gillespie, of Duplin County, North Carolina; Rep- 
resentative in Congress 1793-'99, and 1803- '05. He supported 
the Resolution, for retaliation on England. 

'John Brown; delegate to the Continental Congress from 
the Kentucky District 1787-'88; Representative in Congress 
1789-'92; one of the first Senators from Kentucky 1793-1804. 
He was the last survivor of the Congress of the Confederation. 
He died in 1804. 

Thomas Blount of North Carolina. Representative 1793- 
'99 and 1805-7; again 1811-'12. He died in 1812 and is buried 
at Washington. He was Lieutenant in the Revolution and 
afterwards Major-General of Militia. 

Josiah Parker, of Virginia; Representative 1789-1801. 

Joseph McDowell, of North Carolina; known as of Quaker 
Meadows; fought at King's Mountain; opposed the adoption 
of the Federal Constitution in 1788; Representative in Con- 
gress, 1793-'95, and again 1797-'99. Some say that Dr. 
Joseph McDowell, of Pleasant Gardens was the Representa- 
tive of the latter date. 

'I suggest that Albert Gallatin is here meant. He had 
been refused a seat in the Senate because he had not been 
naturalized nine years. He was not a Jew but being a for- 
eigner and especially odious to the Federalists by his having 
been concerned in the Whiskey Insurrection and by his ag- 


gressive ability as a leader of the opposite party, Grove may 
have suspected that he was of that religion, which was then 
more unpopular than in recent years. Gallatin was a Repre- 
sentative from Pennsylvania, 1795-1801; Secretary of the 
Treasury, 1802-'l4; Minister, with Clay, Adams, Bayard and 
Russell to negotiate the treaty of Ghent in 1814; Minister to 
France 1815-'23; Minister to Great Britain 1826.'27. Removed 
to New York City, where he was President of a Bank, of the 
New York Historical Society and the United States Ethno- 
logical Society. Died 1849. 

* I am doubful as to the identity of this gentleman. Spruce 
McCoy, of Salibury was a State Judge at that time and **Hon 
J-e"(Jiidge) may mean him. There is no evidence that he 
was in Philadelphia. Matthew Locke of Salisbury was a 
member of Congress but was never a Judge. Perhaps he had 
been Chairman of the County Court and Grove may have given 
him the title sneeringly. 

5 This word is an Americanism, corrupted from curvetting, 
i.e. prancing around. 

'John Samuel Shenburne; lost a leg in the Revolutionary 
War; Representative l793-'97; U. S. District Judge from New 
Hampshire, 1804.'30. 

^ Samuel Dexter; a Federalist; Representative l793-'95; 
United States Senator l795-'99; Secretary of War, May 13, 
1800; of the Treasury, December 31, 1800; a leading prac- 
tioner before the Supreme Court of the United States. Pub- 
lished a poem, **Progress of Science," and a volume of Speeches 
and Pamphlets. 

'William Lyman, Brigadier General of Militia; Represen- 
tative, 1793-'97; Consul at London 1805-'ll. 

'Roger Sherman; a Judge in Massachusetts and then in 
Connecticut; delegate to the Continental Congress, 1774-'84; 
delegate to Constitutional Convention of 1787; Representative 
in Congress, 1789-'91; Senator, 1791-'93. His high reputation 
will hardly be diminished by Grove's charge of **cunning." 

•*• Henry Dearborn; resident of Maine, when a part of Massa- 


chusetts; Major General of Militia, 1789; Representative, 
1793-'97; Secretary of War, 1801-'09; Senior Major General in 
the war of 1812; Minister to Portugal, 1822-'24. 

"Zephaniab Swift; Representative, l793-'97; Chief Justice 
of Supreme Court of Connecticut, 1806-'19; Member of the 
Hartford Convention; Published some law books on legal sub- 

"Uriah Tracy; Representative, l793-'96; United States 
Senator, 1796-'1807. Died at Washington, 1807. 

'Joshua Coit; Representative, l793-'98; died 1798 at New 
London of Yellow Fever. 

'5 The old member was Benjamin Bourne; the new, George 

'''John Watts; Representative from New York City, 1793-'9S. 

'^ Ezekiel Gilbert; Representative, 1793-'97; was a lawyer at 
Hudson, New York; Paralyzed, 1812, and was a sufferer for 
thirty years afterwards. 

'^John Smilie; Born in Ireland.; Representative, l793-'95 
and 1799-1813. Died 1813 at Washington. ^ 

^'Thomas Scott; Representative, 1789-'91, and 1793-'95. 

"^'Delaware. The Senators from this State were then Hen- 
ry Latimer and John Vining. Vining was a frequent speaker, 
Latimer not at all. Probably Grove had in mind the distin- 
guished George Read, who resigned in the latter part of 1793. 

"Samuel Smith; a Revolutionary Colonel; Representative 
1793-1803, and 1816-'22; Senator, '1803-15, and 1822-'33; Com- 
manded Maryland troops in repulse of British at Baltimore, 
1814; Mayor of Baltimore. 

"John Nicholas; Representative, 1793-1801; Removed to 
Geneva, New York; Member of State Senate and County 
Court Judge. To be distinguished from Wilson Cary Nich- 
olas, delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787; U. S. 
Senator, 1800- '04; Representative, 1807-'09, and Governor of 
Virginia, 1814-'17. 

'' Carter B. Harrison, Representative, 1793-'99. 

''Mohn Hunter; Representative, 1793-'95; U. S. Senator, 
1797-'98; a farmer. 


^Thomas P. Carnes; Born in Maryland; settled at Milledge- 
ville, Ga.; Attorney General; Judg-e of Supreme Court of Geor- 
gia; Representative, 1793-'95. 

''The Senate sat with closed doors until 1795. This was 
very unpopular, especially in North Carolina where the cus- 
tom had been for the members of Congress to appear before 
the General Assemblies and report their actions. 

"* James Jackson; Senator from Georgia, l793-'95. He was 
a Representative, 1789-'91. 

''Alexander Martin. Born in New Jersey; Graduated at 
Princeton, 1756; began practice of the law in North Carolina, 
1772; Colonel of the Continental Line at Brandy wine and Ger- 
mantown; State Senator. l782-'85, and l789-'92; Acting Gov- 
ernor of North Carolina, l781-'82; Governor, l782-'85, and 
l789-'92; U. S. Senator, 1793.'99. 

^'This humorous sally alludes to the charge against Gov- 
ernor Martin that he hid in a hollow log at GermaAton. The 
matter was investigated by a court martial, which acquitted 

^'Edmund Jennings Randolph; Aid-de-camp to Washing^ton; 
Attorney General of Virginia; delegate to the Continental 
Congress, 1779-'82; Governor of Virginia, l786-'88; Attorney 
Genernal of the U. S.,l789-'94; Secretary of State in place of 
Jefferson, resigned, 1794-'95; Invited to resign in consequence 
of an apparent intrigue with the French Minister, Fauchet. 
He published a ** Vindication" of his conduct, which many 
think is unsatisfactory. 

^' Henry Knox of Massachusetts; Major General in the Rev- 
olutionary war; Secretary of War, 1789; Resigned in 1795. 
Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury, resigned the 
same year. 

^Washington's levees were held every Tuesday afternoon 
from three to four o'clock precisely. The guests stood and he 
walked to them, saying a few words to each, bowing" but not 
shaking hands. The levees of **Madam/' or as she was 
usually called **Lady Washington," were on Friday evenings 


from eight to ten, and usually were attended by the fashion- 
able of the city. She was a charming hostess. The Presi- 
dent often attended and seemed to enjoy the beauty and 
sparkle. Miss Eleanor (Nelly) Custis was the daughter of 
John Parke Custis, son of Mrs. Washington, after her father's 
death adopted by the General. She was very vivacious and 
attractive. She married Washington's nephew, Lawrence 

^Probably General John Smith, of Rowan, who married 
the widow of Moses Alexander of Cabarrus, the mother of Gov. 
Nathaniel Alexander, and William, Mark and Wallace Alex- 
ander, all in the Continental Line of the Revolutionary army. 
Wallace was a Senator from Lincoln County. One of his 
daughters married Archibald Henderson, and another, Wm. 
Locke, nephew of Judge Locke. 

^Matthew Locke; Representative, 1793-97, from North Car- 
olina. Mr. Grove's sarcastic allusion to a new North Caro- 
lina Representative was pointed at Joseph McDowell and not 
at Locke, I think. 

Grove to Hogg. 

6th Feby 1795 
Dear Sir. 

The enclosed sheet of our Journal will inform 
you what was the result of the Vote in Congress on 
the application by Thos Person & others for Com- 
pensation for Lands in the So. Wc. Territory — 

The subject took up great part of two days and I 
believe nothin<^ was omitted that could be said on 
cither side. Mr Smith S C was an able advocate, 
but the House seemed assured the Indian claims had 
never been fairly extinguished since the Treaty at 
Long Island of Holston in 1777 — which gave the 
Indians that part of Hendersons purchase lying on 
the head waters of the Cumberland River — 

A proposition is now made which seems to be gen- 
erally approved of, that a Treaty should be held with 
the Indians & their right purchased when the Pro- 
prietors of Land in that Country Would have their 
titles perfected and might occupy their Property — 


We have had no determination on the Companies 
Claim, but from what was Said on the other subject 
I have no expectation any things can be done for them 
exclusively — We therefore Wait under a hope the 
Indian claims may be purchased, or at least that an 
attempt may be made — I shall write you again on 
this subject — 

Mr Jay has entered into a Treaty with the British 
Govert., which We hope & believe will be favorable 
to this country, altho the several articles are not 
known — as soon as it arrives & is confirmed by the 
President & Senate it will be published— The last 
accts. from the Seat of War in Europe, they were as 
usual Fig:hting' away like Mad men on all sides The 
French are still Victorious in Holland and Spain — 
We were induced to believe from some late accts. that 
a Peace was desired & concluded between the French 
and some of her Enemies, but this rather doubtfull — 
I am 

In haste 

Your friend 

W B Grove 
[James Hogg- Esq 

Hillsboro. No. Carolina] 

Grove to Hogg. 

Philaa. Jany 4th, 1797 
Dear Sir 

You have no doubt seen the Charges ' of the 
French ag-ainst the Government of the United States 
as exhibited by their Minister Mr Add throug-h the 
medium of the public prints; this unexpected event, 
& slrang-e conduct of our old allies has naturally cre- 
ated considerable alarm 8l anxiety, the more as we 
understand they are in the West Indies executing 
the Decree in the most extensive latitude by seizing 
& condemning all American Vessels 8l Cargoes with- 
out paying much regard to forms, or to the Ports 
from which, or to which, they are bound — these 
Charges are the mere pretects thrown out to Colour 
XhQvr Decree^ which is in open Violation of Treaty & 
the Laws of Nations, neither of which is regarded by 


them, when they stand in the Way of their present 
grand design of cutting- up all commerce to British 
ports, disregarding the Consequences it may have on 
the Neutral commerce, & particularly on the U S. as 
they know our Trade is mostly with Gt Britain — 
Thus these two powerful rival Nations are inattentive 
to Justice or principle, towards others; if they can do 
each other an injury^ they are regardless of the Means; 
and alas, the unprotected American commerce is at 
their mercy and they have treated it as if they knew 
Not What Justice or Mercy Was — 

' The enclosed Paper contains a lengthy reply & 
refutation on the part of our Government, of the 
French charges of ^Unsiduous Neutrality^^ &c &c — I 
I hope there is not a real American who does not feel 
as he ought on such an occasion, a contempt for such 
a declaration, against the Will of a Free People, who 
desired to be at Peace with the Wourld, & have 
dealt fairly with all. 

That the Government of the Ud States eluded & 
defeated all the plans and intrigues that has been on 
foot to Yoke America into the European War has 
probably given offence to the French and if using 
every rational & honourable Means to Maintain 
Peace in this Country, & keep free of the Desolating 
War of the old Wourld has been an ofifence to the 
good People of America, their Government has been 
guilty of it — It is to be hoped the Negociations 
going on at Paris may speedily terminate the War, 
otherwise our Commerce to Foreign Countries will be 
in a great measure ruined, & the Government will of 
course be driven to the necessity of a Direct TaXy 
which subject is now before us to be in readiness for 
Deficiencies of import & Tonnage — 

Mr Adams is Elected President,^ & Mr Jefferson 
Vice, — this is as we both wished, if I remember — 
the latter Gentleman will serve, & expresses satisfac- 
tion at the Election of Mr A — whos Character & 
Patriotism it seems he, does, &, ever respected — 
that Mr Adams got only one Vote in our State, & 
Mr Burr 6, reflects no great judgment or respect of a 
Proper Character to fill so important an office as Presi- 
dent, in our Electors — Mr B could not get one 

Vote in the State he belonged to, & where he was 


bred & born, nor in eitber of the adjoining states — & 
yet he got 6 in No. Carolina — Mr Adams did not 
lose one Vote in 8 States — and got some votes in 4 
others^ I hope his Conduct in the Execution of the 
high trust reposed in him may prove Satisfactory to 
his Country, & may be the means of shewing to the 
Wourld that he is a real friend in action and Prin- 
ciples, to the Republic of America, as established by 
our Constitution. 

The Winter is the most Severe one, that has been 
known for many Years, and the Westerly Wind pre- 
vents us getting late information from the other side 
of the Water— The articles'* for the University were 
shipped from London in Novr., & the Vessel is not 
yet heard of — this may prove a further disappoint- 
ment to the University; & a loss to Mr Richardson by 
whom they were to be imported — — I shall be 
gratified on hearing from you, the News and Politics 
of the State — remember me to all acquaintances in 
and about Hillsboro — 

Believe me to be 
Dear Sir 

with esteem and regard 
your Huml Sert. 

W B Grove 
James Hogg esq, 


'These charges were in substance, as summarized by 

a In abandonment by the United States of their neutral 
rights. It wjis contended that the United States would insist 
on the principle that neutral ships make their cargoes free, 
and resist the extension of the list of contraband articles. 

b That the United States had violated the treaty of 1778, 
especially in not giving French vessels more privileges in our 
ports than English vessels. 

c That the Jay Treaty with Great Britain discriminated 
against France. 

d That the Cabinet in 1793 discussed the question whether 


the treaties with France were binding*, also whether they 
would receive the agents of the proscribed princes. 

e That the United States made an insidious proclamation 
of neutrality. 

f By chicaneries the courts of the United States were 
unjust to French privateers. 

g The United States had eluded the offered mediation of 
France with Alg"iers for relieving- American prisoners. 

h It allowed French vessels of state to be arrested, contrary 
to treaty. 

/ It suffered England to interrupt its commerce with 

/ It suffered English vessels, which had insulted the United 
States, to take refuge in her ports and thence cruise against 
the French. 

k It in effect applauded English audacity; allowed French 
colonies to be blockaded. 

/ It eluded French advances for more favorable treaties, 
while it sought a treaty with England which prostituted its 
neutrality, and forgot the services France had rendered in the 
war of the Revolution. 

m That from the New York Coffee House the entwined 
flags of the two nations had been removed by the proprietors. 

n That an American altnanac had failed to give precedence 
to French diplomacy. 

o That the consular convention between the two nations 
had been rendered illusory in two particulars. 

f That Minister Fauchet, on leaving the United States^ 
hed been subjected to annoying treatment by a British ship. 

'The answer of the United States as given by Tucker was, 
in substance: 

That the United States did not violate our treaty or weaken 
our engagements with France; that no resistance was made 
to the measures of Genet and others of her agents, except 
what was required by our laws and neutral obligations; that 
it never acquiesced in violation of our rights or stipulations 


with France, but has opposed them always; that it has fur- 
nished France all succor allowable to neutrals; that the 
United States as a sovereign, as well as by provisions of the 
commercial treaties with France, had the right to enter into 
commercial treaties with Great Britain or any other nation; 
that no facts showing partiality to Great Britain could be 

If there has been greater promptitude to act against unlaw- 
ful acts of French cruisers, it ' was because they were more 
frequently committed on account of the greater sympathy of 
our people with them. And when British ships of war 
entered our waters with their prizes, the government had no 
means of punishing such infractions without calling out the 

'In the election of 1796 Connecticut, Delaware, Massachu- 
setts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, 
voted solidly for Adams. Maryland gave him 7 out of 10 
votes. North Carolina 1 of 12, Pennsylvania 1 of 15, while 
Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee voted 
solidly against him. Kentucky gave Burr 4 votes, Maryland 
3, North Carolina 6, Pennsylvania 13, Tennessee 3, Virginia 
1. Jefferson received 4 each from Georgia, Kentucky and 
Maryland, 11 from North Carolina, 14 from Pennsylvania, 8 
from South Carolina, 3 from Tennessee, and 20 from Vir- 
ginia. Thomas Pinckney had from Connecticut 4, Delaware 

3, Maryland 4, Massachusetts 13, New Jersey 7, New York 12, 
North Carolina 1, Pennsylvania 2, South Carolina 8, Vermont 

4, Virginia 1. There were 15 votes for Samuel Adams from 
Virginia, 11 for Oliver Ellsworth from Masssachusetts, New 
Hampshire and Rhode ' Island, 7 for George Clinton from 
Georgia and Virginia, 5 for John Jay from Connecticut, 3 for 
James Iredell from North Carolina, 2 for George Washington 
from North Carolina and Virginia, 2 for John Henry from 
Maryland, 2 for Samuel Johnston of North Carolina from 
Massachusetts, and 1 for C. C, Pinckney from North Caro- 
lina. Thus Adams had 71 votes, Jefferson 68, Thomas Pinck- 


ney 59 and Burr 30, and under the constitution as it was then 
Adams was President and Jefferson Vice-President. Pinck- 
ney was a Federalist and Hamilton vainly endeavored to have 
him receive more votes than Adams. The total number of 
votes was 138, but it was not required that the Vice-President 
should be chosen by a majority. 

^The articles, electrical and other apparatus, for the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina, arrived safely. 

Grove to Steele, 

Fayette Ville Octor. 1st -1802 
My Dear Sir 

I returned yesterday from Hillsbror, 
where I went on the 9th Septr. with Mrs. G — on a 
Visit to her friends; on my return I found in the 
Post office your favor of the 16th ult. which gave me 
the first information of your return home, altho' I 
made enquirey after you while in Orange — I hope 
your Family have recovered since you wrote, & that 
you continue to enjoy good health in the Native 
climate; tho' Salisbury is looseing its reputation of 
being healthy. 

From your letter, 8l the Copy of the one to the head 
of your Department, which you have done me the 
favor to enclose for my perusal, I perceive with re- 
gret, that you have new cause to be dissatisfied with 
your position in the Govemt. 

As soon as I read the report of the Investigating 
discriminating & criminating Committee, I cotud not 
help seeing the rf^^/ a// made at the Former Treas- 
ury Departt.' From the temper & Views of the ma- 
jority of that Committee, It was to be apprehended 
they would sieze on every possible case to injure the 
feelings & reputation of the former Adminisn. but 
from the Examination & report of the Committee of 
the session before last, on the Treasury Departnt, I 
did suppose the new investigators would find little to 
add, as to that branch of the Government; but in the 
spirit of the times, they have wisely and economically 
discovered, that for want of their legal aad saving 
construction of the acts of Congress, monies have 


been disbursed without an act of appropriation, of 
course these monies should be refunded, & they the 
Committee appointed as a standing Board of expoun- 
ders-!-The contempt mixed with indig-nation which 
the late Report excited in me caused me to think, 
that the Men of sense and decency of their party 
would condemn it; as a crude, partial, & ig-norant pro- 
duction — & that tho' they might for political reasons, 
wink at its censure; I did not presume the head of 
any Departmt. would sanction & adopt the report as 
the rule of their office— 1 am really sorry to find there 
is reason to believe it otherwise, & that the present 
Head of the Treasury in the case of Woodsidc is dis- 
posed to give a new construction to the Law, so as 
to produce a clashing of opinion Between your Judjtr- 
ment & former decisions, and his own— If this differ- 
ence of opinion on the meaning of a Law, arises alone 
from the honest & impartial Judgment of the Secre- 
tary, or is unconnected with any otiier cause or mo- 
tive than a desire to construe Laws fairly, 1 can not 
think it should add to your inducements to leave the 
Department of this you alone can best judge — But 
while you are i>ermitted to think and act indepen- 
dently on your own Judgment and sentiments, & are 
treated with that delicacy aud attention due to your 
services, your Character & your situ.ition, I mfost] 
earnestly wish you to continue in «»flfice — If this is 
not the case I know you too Well, to suppose you 
would act with any set of Men. — 

We have no news here, and were it not for 
the railings & abuse of Duane,' Callander, &c. 
against each othjr, we should consider the papers 
dull, but these fellows unfold some things worth 
knowing respecting the falsehood 8l knavery which 
has been going on among them, & are fulfilling two 
things, that Dog will eat Dog; and that when 
rogues fall out honest men come to their right — 

I am Very certain you join me in regretting — sin- 
cerely regretting the fate of poor Spaight^ He has 
fallen a sacrifice to his own Violence of temoer, for 
he might have a<ljusted his dispute with honor, with- 
out going to extremities — 

Flour will probably continue about 5 to $7 — Cot- 
ton from SI 2 to Sl5 pr. Cwt. picked — 3 to 3 1-2 for 


The University of North C\rolina 

James Sprunt Historical 
Monograph No^ 4 

Letters and Documents, Relating to the Early History of 
the Lower Cape Fear, with Introduction and 
Notes by Kemp P. Battle, LL.D. 



The University of North Carolina 



Historical Monograph No* 4 

Letters and Documents, Relating to the Early History 
the Lower Gipe Fear, with Introduction and 
Notes by Kemp P* Battle^ LL^Dt 




^•.y.^- -^-^t^^ 




1. Extracts from the papers of the DeRosset family, of 
Wilmington, furnished at our request by Mrs. Catharine 

^ DeRosset Meares, widow of the gallant Colonel Gaston 

Meares, who fell at Malvern Hill, and by Col. Wm. Lord 

2. • Extracts from the Journal of the Board of Commission- 
ers of Wilmington, with an introduction by Captain Samuel 
A. Ashe, who is lineally descended from Governor and Judge 

w Samuel Ashe, brother of General John Ashe, and an officer of 

the Revolution. 

^ 3. Journal of Joshua Potts in regard to the location of 

^ Smithville (Southport). 

4. Letter of Captain Samuel Ashe, son of Grovernor 
Samuel Ashe, and who fought for America at Eutaw, giving 
valuable information about the men and events in the Revo- 

^ 5. Journal of General Joseph G. Swift, a United States 

officer stationed on our coast about 1807, who married a North 

I Carolina lady. This was published for private distribution 

[ but is out of print. 

6. Extracts from an oration by Colonel James G. Burr, 
giving some important information. 


The James Sprunt Monograph, No. 4, published by the 
University of North Carolina, is a contribution to the history 
of the lower Cape Fear. This section of the State has been 
conspicuous from its first settlement for the wealth, the intel- 
ligence, the hospitality, the elegant manners and public spirit 
of its citizens. One of its earliest settlers. Colonel Maurice 
Moore, was a chief factor in crushing the Indian rising of 
1711. Another, Col. Hugh Waddell, did important service in 
the French and Indian War. Its Ashes, its Moores, its Har- 
nett, its Hooper, its Howe, its Lillington, and other strong 
men, were among the foremost in resisting oppression and 
securing independence. Its civilians have in large degree 
aided in moulding our institutions. Valuable efforts to per- 
petuate their memories by biographical notices have been made 
by Hon. George Davis, Captain Samuel A. Ashe, Col. A. M. 
Waddell, Mr. James Sprunt, Mr. A. M. Hooper, Mr. J. G. Burr 
and others. It is hoped that the material herein published will 
be appreciated by those who are interested in our past. 

It may be useful to give a summary of the leading events 
connected with the beginnings of the peopling of the lower 
Gape Fear. The first attempt, by a company from Massa- 
chusetts, settling on the east side of the river, was soon 
abandoned. In 1665 Sir John Yeamans, of Barbadoes, under 
a grant from the Lords Proprietors of thirty-two miles square, 
induced a number of emigrants to fix their habitations at the 
mouth of Town Creek eight miles below Wilmington, and 
begin the building of a village, still known as **01d Town." 
After remaining six years they were all transferred to Charles- 
ton, between the rivers named in compliment to Earl Shaftes- 
bury, the Ashley and the Cooper. 

Colonel Maurice Moore, the grandson of Sir John Yeamans, 
and the son of Grovemor James Moore, who assisted in sup- 

6 The Univbrsity Record 

pressing the Indian insurrection, first fixed his residence in the 
Albemarle section. In 1723 he induced a number of his kins- 
folks and connections to make their homes with him on the 
Cape Fear. Among them were his brothers Nathaniel, and 
another, on account of his wealth and style and imperious 
dealing with the Indians, known as King Roger Moore. 

In prospecting for a site for a town Colonel Moore concluded 
to locate it sixteen miles below what is now Wilmington, giv- 
ing 320 acr^s for the purpose. **King Roger" added to it. A 
charter was granted by the General Assembly in 1745. It 
had the advantage of a good depth of water in front, inviting 
however the occasional visits of pirates. In one of these 
piratical raids in 1748 the citizens made stout resistance, 
blowing up a vessel and capturing some property, afterwards 
given by the General Assembly to the churches of St. Philip 
at Brunswick and St. James at Wilmington. A painting of 
Christ shown to the multitude by Pilate is still in the vestry 
room of St. James. 

In addition to its depth of water Brunswick had the advan- 
tage of being on the only road to South Carolina. As early as 
1727 a public ferry across the river was authorized to be estab- 
lished by Cornelius Harnett, the father of a distinguished son 
of the Revolution. The fees, five shillings for a man and 
horse and half a crown for a person, seem reasonable. About 
one third should be deducted in order to reduce these amounts 
to sterling. 

Although never having a large population the town had 
very eminent citizens, not excelled in intelligence, public 
spirit and hospitality by any in America, north or. south. 
Living within the town or on neighboring plantations were, 
besides the Moores I have mentioned, and including George, 
the son of King Roger Moore, with his twenty-eight children, 
Cornelius Harnett, the Revolutionary patriot. Col. William 
Dry, Attorney Generals Archibald McLaine and Thomas 
McGuire, General Robert Howe, General James Moore, Judge 
Maurice Moore and the Judge's son, Alfred, afterwards 

Jambs Sprunt Historical MoiYOGRAPH 7 

Attorney Genexal and Judg^ of the Supreme Court of the 
United States, Governor Benjamin Smith, John Baptista 
Ashe, and his distinguished sons, John and Samuel, atid many 
others. Governor Dobbs had a residence adjoining it, which 
was sold by his son to Governor William Tryon. It was here 
that Governor Gabriel Johnston took the oath of office. It 
was here that George III. was proclaimed in 1761 in the pres- 
ence of Governor Dobbs and his council and a number of the 
men of the neighborhood. It was here that by Colonel John 
Ashe and others Tryon was forced to surrender the stamp 
master, William Houston, who in his turn was forced to aban- 
don his office. It was here that the British sloop of war, 
Diligence, was prevented from landing stamps, and the Col- 
lector of the Port, Pennington, then in the Governor's Man- 
sion, compelled to resign his office. Brunswick too had the 
privilege of sending a member to the lower House of the Gen- 
eral Assembly and was sometimes the place of meeting of 
that body in colonial days. 

In Brunswick too are the remains of perhaps the most hand- 
some church in colonial days, St. Philip, belonging to the 
Church of England. The walls still stand, nearly three feet 
thick, built about 1740 of English brick. It was nearly as 
large as modern North Carolina churches, 76^ feet long and 
53^ feet wide, with eleven windows and three large doors. 
During the recent war Fort Anderson enclosed the site of the 
old town, and although it suffered a terrific bombardment, the 
walls of the church remained intact, while havoc was made 
of some of the headstones in the old cemetery. 

Several reasons for removal of Brunswick may be conjec- 
tured. Captain S. A. Ashe, in the introduction to the City 
Records of Wilmington, hereinafter found, gives a clear 
account of the beginnings of that city. I only state here 
that its site is higher and more healthy. It is more favor- 
ably situated for trade with the up-country. It was in the 
beginning of the Revolution less liable to attacks by British 
vessels. It was more convenient Xq the settlers above the^ 

S Thb TJniybbsity Bboord 

junction of the two branches of the Cape Fear, who were 
rapidly increasing* in numbers and wealth. 

I am particularly indebted for aid in the preparation of this 
Monograph to Mr. James Sprunt and Captain Samuel A'Court 
Ashe. Captain Ashe furnished many items of informa- 
tion concerning the section where his ancestors lived, in ad- 
dition to the introduction and annotations to the Records of 
the Town of Wilmington. I 

Kemp P. Battlb. 



will be better understood by keeping clearly in mind its 
several menil)ers connected with North Carolina history. 

1. Louis DeRosset, (1665-1775); Captain under Schomberg; 
married Gabrielle de Gondin. Their son 

2. Armand DeRosset, (1695-1760); M. D. of Basle Univer- 
sity; married a lady of Uzes in France; emigrated with wife 
and three children prior to 1735, and settled in Wilmington, 
North Carolina. Had two sons, the elder being 

3. Louis Henry DeRosset, (1724-1786); Councillor of the 
Province; Lieutenant General (at that time a lower rank than 
Major General) ; merchant and planter; Tory; left the State 
1778; married Margaret Walker; no issue. 

4. Moses John DeRosset, (1726-1767); M. D.; mayor of 
Wilmington; married Mary Ivy, who after his death married 
Rev. Adam Boyd. 

5. Armand John DeRosset, son of the preceding, (1767- 
1859); M. J).; married first Mary Fullerton, and secondly 
Catharine Fullerton, sister of Mary. 

6. Moses John DeRosset, (1796-1826), son of preceding by 
his first wife; M. D.; married Sarah E. Waddell; no issue. 

7. Armand John DeRosset, (1807-1897); son of Dr. A. J. 
DeRosset by his second wife; M. D., and then commission 
merchant; married first Eliza Jean Lord, and secondly Cath- 
erine M. Kennedy. 

It thus appears that there has been a continuous residence 
in Wilmington from 1735 to 1903, one hundred and sixty eight 

The following Medical Diploma to the first settler in the 
State is given in full as it will doubtless be interesting to 
scholars, especially college men. 

10 The University Rboord 

Dr. Arm and DeRosset. 

Copy of the Diploma of the University of Basle^ granted to 
Dr. Armand De Rosset. 

ciant, duobus finibus humanae mentis cogitationes et actiones 
in universum circumscribunt, vero, bonoque, horum alterum 
Theoreticae, alterum Practicae vitae proprium est. Quibus 
tanquam alls ad arcem Beatitudinis alioqui inacessam mortales 
evadere posse, summi Philosophi censuerunt. Ex hoc fonte 
duplex sapientiae geaus promanavit, contemplationis et acti- 
onis; ea quidem temperie mutua, ut omnis veri cognitio ad 
borii possessionem derivetur, et omnis vicissim boni possessio 
ad cognitionem veri dirigatur. Quod si quae tales sunt vel 
Artes vel Scientiae in quibus utraque vis luculenter sese ex- 
erit, illae demum et per se quia verae sunt, bonaeque, hoc est 
honestae, et propter aliud, (juia jucundae sunt et utiles expeti 
consueverunt et commendan. Ejus autem generis inter cae- 
teras optimarum Artium propagines Medicinam vel imprimis 
esse, nemo sanae mentis negarit; Quae cum Theoriae sual prae- 
stantia Philosophis, praxeos utilitateheroibusdigna videatur, 
ut ortu suo Deorum inventum, sic cultu olim Asclepiadarum 
propria fuit habita, qui Artem pulcerrimam a Majoribus vel- 
uti per manus traditam et acroamatum Doctrina propagarunt, 
operumque assiduitate confirmarunt, Posteaquam vero in 
quasdam veluti cc^lonias Asclepiadae sunt deducti; Artis quoque 
Mysteria peregrinis et Exotericis hominibus, ut non genere 
virtute saltem et eruditione Aesculapii posteritatem referen- 
tibus communicari cepere: atque adeo ne abusus Divinae Arti 
calumniam, mortalium generi perniciem afiFeret, Ornamenta et 
Privilegia publica, iis, qui eam vel docere vel exercere cona- 
rentur, censura et authoritate eorum, qui de profectu cujusque 
judicare possunt, solennibus conferenda ceremoniis decreta 
fuere: non tanquam praemia virtutis, sed tanquam Testimonia 
eruditionis et invitamenta. Hinc seculorum omnium mirificum 
consensum Basilienses quoque Medici imitaturi, literashasce 
publicas privatae virtutis Testes et judices legitime exarandas 
curavere. Nam cum Nobilissimus et Doctissimus Dominus 
ARMANDUS DE ROSSET honesto loco sed et thoro legitime 

Jambs Sprunt Historical Monograph 11 

Uzetiae in Gallia Narbonensi natus in celeberrimis Angliae et 
Belgii Academiis lantos in sacra Medicina fecerit progressus, 
ut ad ejusdem praxin cum salute mortalium admitti posse vide- 
retur; Dignus fuit judicatus, ut ad summum in Arte Medica 
gradum admitteretur et Doctoris Titulo ornaretur. Itaque ad 
Diem III. Decembris MDCCXX. postquam fidem suam Col- 
legio Medico per Mandatarium Dn. Joh. Jacobum Sontag No- 
tariiim speciali Mandato ad hoc ab ipso instructo sicuti veros 
decet Asclepiadas jurisjurandi religione interposita obstrinx- 
isset: Reverentissimi Principis ac Domini Dni. Joannis Con- 
radi Basiliensis Episcopi, Academiae Cancellarii, sub Recto- 
ratu Magnifici vin Dm. Joannis Buxtorfii Ling. Hebr. Pro- 
fessoris meritissimi, Decano vero viro Spectatissimo atque Ex- 
cellentissimo Dn. loh. Henrico Stehelio Med. Doctor®. Anat. 
et Botan. Prof®, in Medicam Civitatem receptus; atque Doctor 
Medicinae fuit creatus, tenorec^ue harum Literarum heic et 
ubique pro tali haberi et salutan jubetur; simulque exercendae 
Medicinae, aegros visitandi, deque Morbis consultandi potes- 
tatem amplissimam, cum Privilegiisinsuper et Immunitatibus 
omnibus quibus Doctores Medici heic et ubivis terrarum frui «t 
gaudere solent, ab Ordine nostro Medico decenter consecu- 
tus est. 

Id ipsum Decanus et Assessores Collegii Medici publicis 
hisce Literis Medico Sigillo approbatis et vice Cancellarii, 
Scribaeque Academici manu confirmatis sicuti viros inter 
bonosbene agier testatum fecere. Actum Basileae Rauraco- 
rum ad Diem III. mensis Decembris Anno redempti orbis 
Millesimo Septingentesimo vigesimo. 

Joh. Georgius Schatzmannus, 
Imperiali authoritate et Academiae 
Basil. Notarius Juratus. 
loh. Henricus Stehelius, M. D. 

Anat: & Botan: Prof: Publ: p. t. Decanus. 

Note. — Basle, now Basel, is on the Rhine between Stras- 
burg and Berne. Its university, founded in 1460, was once 
one of the greatest institutions in Europe, Erasmus and Euler 
being professors. 

Doctor Armand De Rosset was the child of Captain Lewis 
De Rosset, born in London. He married in Switzerland a lady 
of Uzes, (once Ucetia) lived for awhile in Montpelier, where 
two of his children, Gabrielle and Louis Henry were born, 
then removed to London, where his son, Moses John, was born 

12 The Univbbsitt Bboord 

and thence emigrated to the Cape Fear about 1735. He settled 
in Wilmington, then New Liverpool, and became a leader at 
once, the trusted physician of the community, serving also as 
Justice of the Peace and Commissioner of the town. He be- 
came a considerable holder of real estate. His home was on 
Second Street, since the residence of Dr. James F. McRee, the 
elder, said to have been once occupied by William Hooper, **the 
Signer." Dr. DeRosset's wife died in 1746 and jfive years after- 
ward he married Elizabeth Catherine Bridgen, a native of 
Bristol, England, a friend of the Burgwyn family. She was 
of a masculine character; survived him many years. He died 
in 1760. 

By his Hugfuenot wife he had a daughter, Gabrielte, who 
married John DuBois and left many descendants. The elder 
son was Louis Henry DeRosset, described in Dr. A. J. De- 
^osset's autobiography. His second son was Moses John De 
Rosset, who became a physician of extensive practice. He 
was also a public spirited citizen, serving as an oflScer in the 
regiment of Colonel James Innes, which was sent to Virginia 
to fight the French and Indians. He was also mayor of Wil- 
mington and as such joined in the resistance to the stamp tax. 
A sentence in one of his letters to a British officer has been 
much admired: "Moderation ceases to be a virtue when the 
liberty of the British subject is in danger." He did not live 
to participate in the Revolution, dying on Christmas day, 1767, 
within two days of his 41st birthday. 

Although Dr. Armand DeRosset's father did not come to 
America, the following papers, the originals of which belong 
to the DeRosset family, showing that Captain Louis DeRos- 
set, under the great Schomberg, aided in the consummation of 
the Revolution of 1688, must be interesting to the reader. 

Captain Louis DeRosset. 
Cofy of Furlough to Louis DeRosseU signed by the Duke of 



^ Duke of Schonberg, Marquess of Harwich, Earl of Brent- 
ford, and Baron Teyes, Captain General of all His Majestie's 

Jambs Sprunt Historical Monograph 18 

Armies and Land Forces, Garrisons, Forts and Castles in the 
Kingdom of England, Scotland, and Ireland, &c. Master Gen- 
eral of Their Majesties Ordnance, One of His Majesty's most 
Honorable Privy Council, and Knight of the most Noble 
Order of the Garter, Count of the Holy Empire and Mertoela, 
Grandee of Portugall, General of the Elector of Branden- 
bourgs Forces, Stadtholder of Prussia, &c. 

To all Admirals, Vice Admirals, Captains and Commanders 
of Ships, Governors of Forts and Castles, Sheriffs, Mayors, 
Justices of the Peace, Constables, Customers, Comptrollers, 
Searchers, and other His Majesties OflScers, whom it may 
concern. Greeting: These are in his Majesties Name, to Pray 
and require you to Permit and Sufifer the Bearer here of De 
Rossett Captn. in the Regiment of Foot commanded by Colo- 
nell la Calimotte, wth. one servant. Freely and Quietly to 
Pass from Lisburne to England for the recovery of his health, 
and to return without any Lett, Hindrance, or Molestation 
whatsoever. Given at our Head Quarters at Lisburne the 
sixth day of January 1789 in the first year of Their Majesties 

**By the Genls. Command 

Js. de Cardonnet." 

Extracts from Commissions issued by the British Govern- 
ment to 2 Louis DeRosset: 

*'William R." 

''William and Mary by the grace of God &c. to our 

well beloved and trusted Louis de Rossett, Esqr. greeting. 

We «Skc. constitute and appoint you to be captain of the 

company whereof Captain at Grenadier Roue de la Foncille 

was Captain in the Regiment of Foot commanded by 

Colonel de la Caillemotte &c." 

By His Majesty's Command 

8 Shrewsbury.'' 
"Dated Apr. 1st, 1689, in the first 
year of our reign." 

A commission similar to the foregoing, appointing the same 
Louis DeRosset, "gentleman," Captain of the Company in the 
Regiment of Foot, commanded by Major General la Meloniere, 
whereof Captain Dupuy was Captain, dated October 18th, 
1697, "in the 9th year of our reign, 

By His Majesty's Command, 

William Blathwait," 

14 The Univbrsity Rboord 

^ Frederic Armand, Duke of Schotnberg, after winning celeb- 
rity in the Armies of France, became Minister of State, under 
the Elector of Brandenburg-. He then took service under 
William III. of England, was created a peer, made Knight of 
the Garter, and obtained a grant of ;^100,000 — was killed at 
the Battle of the Bojne, July 1, 1790. Lisburne is in Ireland 
about ten miles southwest of Belfast. The name of Dr. Ar- 
mand DeRosset suggests a possible relationship between his 
family and that of the Duke. 

" Louis de Rosset, born about 1645, son of Louis DeRosset, 
docteur en droits, and Lady Catherine de Moyeur of Uzes in 
South France. He married the Lady Gabrielle de Groudin, 
the marriage contract being still in possession of the DeRos- 
set family. The marriage was said to be **for the glory of 
God and for the increase of the human race." He left France 
on the Revocation and took service with his compatriot, the 
Duke of Schomberg, under King William. The passport of 
Schomberg brings to mind the historical fact of the loss of one 
half his army by sickness contracted in the marshes of Dun- 
dalk. Captain DeRosset was naturalized in England in 1708 
and died in 1725. A friendly letter to him from Marshall Saxe 
shows that he was highly regarded by the great men of the 

^ Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewsbury, Lord Chamberlain, 
Viceroy of Ireland, and High Treasurer — died 1717. He was 
descended from the celebrated John Talbot, Earl of Shrews- 
burg, in times of Henry V. and Henry VI. 

Councillor De;Rossktt. 

Lopy of commission to Lewis Henry DeRosset^ appointing 
him a member of the council under Governor Dobbs, 

By their Excellencies the Lord Justices. 

Tho: Cantuar: Granville P. Gower C P S 

M arlborough . Anson . 

We being well satisfied of the loyalty, integrity and abil- 
ity of Lewis de Rosset junior Esqr. do hereby in His Majesty's 
name direct & require you forthwith upon the receipt of here- 

Jambs Sprunt Historical Monograph 15 

of to swear and admit him the said de Rossett junior to be 
one of his Majesty's Council in His Majesty's Province of 
North Carolina, in the room of William Forbes Esq. deceased, 
and for so doiiig this shall be your Warrant. 

Given at Whitehall the tenth day of June 1759 in the twen- 
ty-fifth year of His Majesty's Reign. 

By their Excellencies Command 
Claudius Amgard. 
Seal with two roses. 
Three Excise Stamps, 11 Shilling 
and VI. pence each. 

To Gabriel Johnson Esqr. His M^esty's 
Governor of the Province of North Carolina 
in America. And in his absence, to the Commander 
in chief or to the President of his Majesty's 
Council of the said Province for the time 

Lewis de Rosset Junior, Esqr. to be of the Council in No. 

Petition of Lewis Henry DeRosset for Indemnity for Property 
Lost in the Revolution, 

To The Hpnble. the Commissioners for the examining into 
the case of the American Sufferers — 

The Memorial of Lewis Henry de Rosset late of North Car- 
olina Humbly Sheweth That your Memorialist was sworn in 
a member of his Majesties Honble. Council for said Province 
in the year 1752, and continued in that station until the late 
Rebellion there put an end to his Majesty's Government in 
North Carolina, and he begs leave to refer to the Certifi- 
cate of their Excellcs. Genl. Tryon and Govr. Martin, the last 
two Governors of that Province, for the manner in which he 
behaved himself in that station, and in general for his con- 
duct as a faithful & loyal subject. 

That your Memorialist from the first took an open and De- 
cided part in favour of the Kind's Government — 

That in 1779 your memorialist was called upon in conse- 
quence of an act passed by the usurped Government to re- 
nounce his allegiance, and take the Oaths to them, and on re- 
fusal of which all persons so refusing were banished from the 
Province, on the pain of death if they returned; But your 
memorialist cheerfully preferring his Duty to God and his 
Sovereign refused to take the Oaths — 

16 Thb Uniybbsitt Rbgord 

In consequence of a clause in the said act permitting per- 
sons so banished to sell or carry off their Estates or Effects, 
or leave them subject to confiscation, your memoralist under 
these disastrous circumstances was compelled to dispose of 
his Estate, in such manner as he imagined might best tend to 
His and His Family's support, and accordingly sold a great 
part of His Estate at whatsoever he could get ^ Which in his 
distrest situation must have been much under the real value) 
and with the money arising therefrom, he purchased a vessel, 
that he fitted out at a great expense, and loaded with Tobac- 
co, Indigo and Staves and sailed from Cape Pear River the 
last day of April 1779 with an intent to proceed to England 
where, from every information, the said Vessel and Car- 
goe must have produced above eight thousand pounds Sterl- 
ing — The remainder of his Estate consisting of some lands, 
Slaves, Money, Debts, and other effects, to the amount of 
above two thousand Pounds Sterling more he left in the hands, 
of persons he could confide in for the support of his wife, 
whom he was obliged to leave behind him — 

That your memorialist on his Voyage was on the American 
coast three times captured, the last time by an American Pri- 
vateer, and carried into New London, where he was deprived of 
his vessel and every thing he had on board, and sent thus 
plundered and stripped to New York, so that a total loss of 
that part of his Estate was the consequence of his refusing 
to renounce his Rights and Allegiance as a British subject — 

That after your memorialist arrived in New York, he there 
waited till Genl. Clinton sailed to South Carolina, when he 
went in the same fleet, and soon after the taking of Charles- 
ton was, through the recommendation of Genl. Tryon and 
Govr. Martin appointed in May 1780 by Genl. Clinton the 
principal Commissary of prisoners at that place, in which sit- 
uation he remained until the evacuation of Charleston took 
place, when he had no other resource but to come with the 
Fleet to England. 

That your memorialist begs leave to inform you, that great 
part of the interest he left for the support of his wife in the 
hands of Confidential Friends in North Carolina, has been 
greatly pillaged and plundered, and that a person in whose 
hands he left a considerable sum of money has so much suffer- 
ed by persecution, that it is hardly possible he can get repay- 
ment thereof — Thus that part of his Estate he left in North 
Carolina he can get but little of — 

Thus situated after a loss altogether of at least ten thous- 

Jambs Spbuitt Histomoal MoiroaRAPH 17 

and Pounds Sterling-, jour memorialist finds himself destitute 
of all means of support and provision. — 

Your memorialist therefore humbly begs leare to submit 
himself and his case to your Honors Consideration in full con- 
fidence that you will be pleased to recommend him for such 
relief and support as he may appear entitled to. 

And your memorialist as ever in duty bound 
shall ever pray. — 
J A Lewis De Rosset. 

No. 1. 

(Attached to the above document are the following- papers.) 
I have read the annexed memorial of Mr. De Rosset, who 
was well known to me during the six or seven years I was 
Governor of the Province of North Carolina, and whom I have 
since seen in New York as mentioned in his memorial, and I 
have the pleasure of certifying that from the intimate knowl- 
edg-c I have of him, the integrity of his principles both in pub- 
lic and private life, and in the full trial 1 have had of his loy- 
alty and attachment to his Majesty's Government, 1 have no 
doubt but that the several matters and Facts set forth in the 
memorial are strictly just and true. I must further add in jus- 
tice to the opinion I entertain of the singular worth & merit 
of Mr. De Rosset, that I believe no man has a more equitable 
& honorable claim than himself to the favor and considera- 
tion of Government as a Loyal American Sufferer, and as such, 
he has my fullest and warmest Recommendation. 

Given under my hand in Upper Grosvenor Street 
the 28th day of February 1783. 
J A Wm. Tryon. 

No. 2. 

Having perused the memorial annexed of Mr. Lewis Henry 
DeRosset, I have no scruple to declare that I consider it a verj 
modest representation of his case althoug-h I cannot take it 
upon myself to judge of his loss of property as I can of his 
loyalty and sufferings. I have the fullest persuasion from the 
general integrity of his character, that his estimate is strictly 
just and honorable; as was all his conduct in public and 
private life, as far as my knowledge goes, and in all report of 
the country in which he passed the g*reater part of his life. 

Borne down by misfortune broug*ht upon him by a virtuous 


18 1*HB tf ni V KK aiT V Rboord 

attachment to his majesty and the British Constitution at an 
advanced age, he seems to me a Gentleman most highly 
deserving" of the favor and consideration of government; and 
as such has my sincerest and warmest recommendation. 

Jo. Martin. 
New Norfolk Street, 

March 1st, 1783. 

The following letter, though not signed, is doubtless from 
Honorable Louis Henry DeRosset. 

* 'London August 17th, 1785. 
Mr. James Walker, at Wilmington on Cape Fear North 
Dear Sir: — I want words to express to you my feelings on the 
receipt of your letter of the 24th January informing me of the 
unexpected death of my dearly beloved wife. You can better 
conceive than words can convey the bitter anguish of my soul 
on the mournful information. The more unexpected the more 
poignant I felt the force of the fatal stroke that deprived me 
of the best of Wives whose tender affection I had experienced 
in every circumstance of life. To say she was the faithful 
friend, the chaste Wife, the cheerful companion and that her 
honest heart was an enemy to deceit would not deal justice to 
her great merit; but possessed of these and all the other vir- 
tues which from long experience I knew she possessed in 
an eminent degree had so endeared her lo ijie that I fully 
enjoyed every conjugal felicity for thirty yearp that I had the 
happiness to be with her, and when I was forced to leave her 
separation was cruel and the unhappy days that I have sjjent 
since that time, a continued scene of trouble and confusion. 
Nor could I have a prospect of happiness until we could have 
met together in Peace and Quietness, and for this purpose it 
was that I applied to obtain half pay in order to have been 
able to support her with some degree of decency though not 
with affluence I could have wished for, but I knew that 
through her prudent management we could have gone through 
life here in Peace and content, and I had just obtained the 
grant of half pay and only waited for an opportunity to advise 
her to take advantage of the summer season (when she might 
naturally expect a speedy and pleasant passage) to embark 
for England, when your letter per the Castor came to hand 
the 10th of April which at once put an end to all my pleasing 
expectations of returning happiness, and nothing but a horrid 

Jambs Sprunt Historical Monograph 19 

gloomy prospect now succeeds to my flattering delusive hopes. 
Thus are we wretched mortals in this life ever subject to dis- 
appointments. It is my duty, as a Christian to submit to the 
Divine Dispensations, the draught is bitter but I must swallow 
it but I cannot say that I do so with resignation I ought. No 
my dear best friend, my faithful companion is gone and I 
shall ever whilst I have being lament my irreparable loss, 
neither time nor place can remove her dear image from my 
mind, there she is perpetually present and the only pleasure 
I enjoy is to think perpetually on her. I make no doubt but 
through the Merits and Mediation of our blessed Saviour she 
is received into the Mansions of eternal felicity and I pray 
God when he thinks proper to remove me from this transitory 
life I may there with her enjoy eternal happiness for ever and 
ever. Amen. I lament the affliction your mother must feel 
in the loss of her valuable Daughter and would gladly con- 
tribute everything in my power toward alleviating her grief. 
Pray remember to inform her that 1 bear with her the most 
cordial respect, and shall always remember her as the Mother 
of my Dearest Wife, be assured yourself and be pleased to 
assure Mrs. Quince that I shall ever retain the affection I had 
for my wife's nearest relations, and I sincerely thank you both 
for the attention paid to your deceased sister, and I am much 
obliged to you for your care in having her buried with proper 
Decency for no cost ought to have been spared to show the 
Esteem and Just regard due to her merit. I should be glad if 
possible to have my bones lain with hers when I die. On the 
19th of last month I received your favor per Mr. McGuire. I 
should desire that what effects my Dear Wife left may be dis^- 
posed of in the following manner: (There seems from the 
context that one sheet of the letter is missing for the other 
side of the single sheet of foolscap begins thus:) The general 
matters you mention; I saw Mr Kensington at his own house. 
He informed me that the proceeds of the cargo of the Castor 
did not neat but between three and four hundred pounds & a 
loss of course must ensue that no profits that can be made on 
goods from hence can compensate. He told me that a great 
deal of the indigo was very bad. Naval stores low and no 
bounty given it was not an article that would bear freight, 
the o^ly that answered were the reeds for that 1 imagine the 
best would be to purchase goods of (illegible; the country to 
be paid there. And indeed credit to America is very low 
here, the Merchants not choosing to trust their property 
where they are not sure of recovering their debts. If there 

no Thb Unitsbsitt Bboom) 

was a Commercial treaty agreed upon between the Kin^om 
and the American States perhaps Credit might in some meas- 
ure be restored, but I am apt to believe it would be with much 
caution for many traders from here have been by their Ameri- 
can connections ruined. Mr Kington (Kensington) told me 
that the Susannah which had lately arrived was unloading 
and that he was directed by both Mr. John Quince and Mr. 
Gray to put her up to sale so that you will see her no more. 
He also mformed me that the Guinea Scheme was at an end 
a vessel intended for that trade and to have been sent to your 
house was ordered to be sold and nothing further would be 
done in that matter. As Mr. Eyves is dead I have not had 
ant opportunity of knowing what agreement he had made with 
Mr. Quince, all that I could find was that he was to have 
been concerned. I think you can have no expectation of aay 
Guinea men. And as I suppose you will receive letters from 
Messrs. Kensington and Cinningham you will have fuller 
information in all the matters. 

I should be glad to have a copy of Mrs. DeRosset's will. 
Mr. Pridgen cannot find the one jrou sent him. I cannot tell 
where to fix a residence in my distressed situation. Had it 
pleased the Almighty to have prolonged the life of my Dear 
and Faithful friend the darling of my soul I could have been 
happy with her in a Cottage but without her a palace would 
have no charms. God knows what will become of me all I can 
say at present is 1 shall stay about this City until I have a 
hearing from the Commissioner of Compensation for my 
Losses. In the meantime therefore till I say direct your let- 
ters to me to the care of Messrs. Pridgen & Walker in Lovell 
Court Pater Noster Row, and pray let me hear from you as 
often and as fully as you can. Remember me with the sin- 
cerest affection to your Marie, your good sister Quince, your 
Wife your Son and all connections. I congratulate you on 
the birth of your daughter, and hope she will be worthy imi- 
tator of the virtues of her Dear Dear Aunt. Adieu at present 
and be assured that I shall always retain the warmest regard 
for all my wife's relations and that I am with sincere esteem, 
Dr. Sir Yrs. : c. 

Gk)v. Martin some days ago desired me to forward a meml. 
for Mr. Willett who lives about Lockwoods Folly relative to 
an Orphan a niece of his whose Father died at New York & 
the Gov. took charge of her. Inclosed I send the meml. & 
pray oblige me so far as to have it safely delivered to Mr. 
Willett that he may give directions about the matter. 

Jambs Spbunt Historical Monograph 91 

Note. — The following facts show that Louis Henry DeRosset 
was an useful and prominent citizen. He was watchful for the 
interests of Wilmington and St. James' Church as well as the 
Colony. He was a member of the lower House of the General 
Assembly in 1751; was chairman of public accounts for years 
and a Justice of the Peace. He was member of the Council 
from 1752 to the Revolution. In 1754 he was commissioner 
for preparing and emitting ^40,000 proclamation money. He 
was also Receiver General of the King's quit rents, but 
resigned the office in 1761. As showing the variety of his 
activity for the public good I state some of the measures he 
introduced. For leave to build St. James' Church, also one at 
Brunswick; regulating exports of the Cape Fear; appointing 
inspectors; a petition for the establishment of a post office in 
the Province; to establish quarantine. He was Adjutant 
General on General WaddelPs staff in 1771 and Lieutenant 
Greneral under Tryon in 1768. 

Councillor DeRosset was a merchant and accumulated a 
handsome fortune. Part of it he invested in a plantation on 
the north east bank of the Cape Fear, about eight miles above 
Wilmington, called Red Banks, now Rose Hill. 

It is not certainly known whether his application to the 
British government for relief was successful, but as his 
administrator, with will annexed, Thomas Younger, attorney 
for James Walker, Armand John DeRosset and Armand John 
DuBois, was required to give a bond for nearly $50,000 it 
seems probable. However very little was realized by their 
nephews. Either his property was overestimated or there 
was fraud somewhere. 

There is a probable tradition in the family that the French 
government under Louis XVI. offered him the restoration of 
his titles and estates if he would return and enter the Roman 
Church, which offer was promptly refused. 

He died without issue in 1786, his wife having preceded 
him one year. They never met after his enforced emigration 
in 1779. 


^ Letter from Mrs. Elizabeth Catherine DeRosset 

(wife — 2nd — OF Dr. Armand de Rosset) 

TO Mr. John Burgwyn. 

Chinese Temple, Aug. 25th, 1775. 

Iwrote you the other day by one Capt. Arthur. He 

intended sailing for London; but ^'Mr. Hogg sent him to Ply- 
mouth. I gave him a packet to my brother. I enclosed your 
letter (open) to Mr. B. and begged him to direct it to you, 
wherever you were — in London, Bristol or Bath. Whither the 
man has gone I cannot say, as I think he had not fair mind. 
I wrote to no one else, but you and my brother; but by this 
conveyance 1 shall write to everybody, as the Lord only knows 
when an opportunity will be given again; and it seems to me 
as if I were taking my last leave of you all. 

^ Mr. Grayham has got the fever and ague; but is now taking 
bark like * Mr. Burgwyn himself. How does the lame leg do? 
Is it easy — is it strong — is it so civil as to let you bear your 
weight on it? is it glad it is in the Great Beehive? We have 

very little sickness as yet amongst us, and no deaths Mr. 

John Quince, 'tis generally thought, has a church-yard cough; 
and soon will go the way of all flesh. I think he has been go- 
ing the last fifteen years. The Court of Admiralty, I men- 
tioned last week was held in Brunswick (not at the fort). The 
man gave ;£300, for his condemned vessel the thing was too 
plain to make a dispute. The Governor is still on the man-of- 
war, and Mr. Hassel, his Lieutenant, sticks by him. They 
have intercepted many of his letters and memorials, and set 
about to induce the Back-Country people to take up arms. But 
his conduct, has been, 'tis said, so extraordinary, that it has 
united the people, and has had quite a different effect from 
what he intended; and all the Companies, that were at vari- 
ance with one another, now muster together, and are very 
friendly (or very deceitful). The Artillery Company join the 
Independents, and they perform their exercises together — this 
is what the gentlemen tell me, and I must always depend on 
some of them for intelligence. ^ Capt. McLaine (who by the by 
is an Ensign) is going to carry himself and his wife up the N. 
West. He speaks such things as are disagreeable to the peo- 
ple, and his friends, I believe, wish him gone. Mr. Hogg tells 
me that the people of Bogue did not use him ill, only some 
fellows upon the road were impertinent to him. I don't know 
if you will thank me for these scraps of intellis;ence\ but, I 
would if I were in your place. 


It is tboug-ht Mr. Nelson's suit at Point Pleasant will end 
in matrimony — by his frequent stay there. For as Bevill (In 
Conscious Lover) says — 'A denial is a favor every man may 
pretend to, and if a Lady would do honor to herself, she should 
never keep a gentlemen in suspense, if she knows she can't 
like him.' 

As Miss appears to be sweet, innocent young 

creature, I think she won't seem to encourage what she dis- 
approves, and she is too sensible to trifle away his time with- 
out approbation. In general people in love look mighty silly; 
but I do assure you Mr. Nelson is more chatty and agreeable 
than ever — even before his mistress. I should not wonder if 
Fanny loved him. Do you remember how you looked when 
you were in love? Nay, do not give such a sigh, or I will nev- 
er speak to you again of the Ladies of ^ Cedar Grove: They are 
all well — as much yours as ever, even little Fanny. Tho' they 
are still in town, and, I believe, have no great news, I do not 
like just now to be so far from the seat of intelligence: there 
everything is talked of, there everything is first known, and 
they could neither bear nor see what's doing. 'Tis thought 
that Capt. CoUett is gone on his to bring in soldiers, and 

that Brunswick will be their destination; and that, on his ar- 
rival, the Governor will set up his standard there. That will 
be the first fruits of the burning of the fort The second chap- 
ter, I presume, will be something of the same kind; but as yet 
it is in embryo. This is publickly talked of, and some things 
about it have transpired. Then we shall see who and who's 
together — whether it rains or is fair weather. We have pro- 
digious crops of wheat this year, better never known in the 
memory of men. The corn will, also, be very fine, if these 
deluges of rain do not spoil it. Give my love to the two little 

■^ boys if you are near them. Mr. John Boyd, Adam 

Boyd's brother, talks of becoming a resident of this place, it 
these American affairs be settled: he goes to Plymouth, but 

talks of going to London, himself: he is a sensible man. 

They have made an addition of twenty men to the town watch 
and guard, not of men that are paid, but gentlemen and trades- 
men. The weather has been very bad and some of them 
grumble a little, but still they do it. You can't conceive of 
how quiet everything is in the night — no robbing of the stores 
— every negro at home in his bed, and not half the drunken- 
ness there used to be. So far, so good. Mrs. Thos. Hooper 
bro't to bed, and her child dead. Mrs. Jackson Walker has 
been carried to Mr Harnett's house by Dr. Ceikie. Mr. Lord 

34 Tbb Univxbsitt Bbcx>rd 

of Brunswick talks of taking that just left by Mrs. Walker. 
Indeed most of the Brunswick people, they say, talk of coming- 
up here soon, if the soldiers come in with ® Collet. Lord 
knows what will become of us. Mrs. Humphreys has her 
health extremely well. Mr. H. says but little, but I believe 
makes it up with thinking. People can't be hanged for that 
you know. Old Father Time, however, will discover every- 
body's thoughts. I beg" of you to eat some fine English 
peaches for liie, this summer, if it be not too late; and then 
tell me if they are not as good as the American. 'Tis a point 
I can't give up. If you should see a remarkably old lady by 
the name of Willoughby, in Bristol, a widow, pray present 
her my best respects. She is truly worth everybody's esteem. 
My own sister will be quite out of the way. She lives in Wor- 
chestershire. I dare say you, with a lame leg, will not think 

of going there. May Almighty God hold you in his true 

keeping, prays 

Yr. truly afif. friend & Sir yr. obdt. servt, 

Eliz. Cath. De Rosset. 

^ This lady was a native of Bristol, England, and daughter 
of Samuel Bridgen, of Ludlow Castle, New Hanover, North 
Carolina. She was the second wife of D. Armand de Rosset, 
the M. D. of Basle, they having been married in 1751. She 
was doubtless much younger than he; was of a masculine char- 
acter and dominated all around her. She was an ardent Tory. 
She lived on her plantation called Chinese Temple, adjoining 
the Hermitage, which belonged to the Burgwyns, with whom 
she had been friends in Bristol, Her death occurred at the 
summer home at Mason boro, of fever, 1778. 

2 Robert and John Hogg were merchants of Wilmington. 
James Hogg was a cousin, a citizen of Fayetteville and then 
of Hillsboro. He was an active patriot. Mr. de Rosset evi- 
dently thought that the '*Mr. Hogg" about whom she wrote 
was trying to *'hold with the hare and run with the hounds." 

^ Mr. Gray ham seems to have been a manager for Mr. Bur- 

* Mr. John Burgwyn emigrated from Bristol, England. He 
was a merchant and planter, had branch mercantile establish- 

Jambs Sprxtivt Historical Monograph S6 

metits in Bristol and London. His plantation near Wilnring'- 
ton was called the Hermitage. He was for awhile Treasurer 
of the Province. His integrity and accuracy were so weH 
known that he was chosen to report on its financial cooditiotL, 
even the Regulators, who thought the people cheated by the 
Sheriff, avowing their willingness to accept his statement. 
His first wife, Mary Hayncs of **Castle Haynes," near Wil- 
mington, died childless, and he then married M-iss Bush, of 
Bristol. From them is a numerous posterity. H-e was nat- 
urally a 'i'ory and lost much in consequence. His town retsi- 
dence, opposite St. James Church, was Cornwal lis' headquar- 
ters. He died in 1803 and is buried in Wilmington. His sou of 
the same name died in Raliegh in 1864, 82 years old. He 
married Eunice, daughter of the celebrated Jonathan B^dwards. 
Among their grandsons are Col. H. P. Burgwyn, killed at 
Grettysburg and Col, W. H. S. Burgwyn, President of the 
Bank of Weldon, a Captain in the Confederate army. It is 
said that Burgwyn is another form of Burgoyne. 

* Archibald McLaine, of Brunswick, was an able lawyer and 
member of the State Congress of 1775 and 1776, a-wd of the 
Senate and of the Convention of 1778. He was noted for his 
sharp tongue. George Hooper married his daughter, and one 
of his descendants was the learned and estimable, John de 
Berniere Hooper, Professor in this University. 

^ The country-seat of the DeRossets, about eight miles norrth 
of Wilmington. 

^ Children of Gen. Hugh Waddell, and words of Mr. Bur- 

^ Collett was commander of Fort Johnston when it was 
burned. Fort Johnston was near the mouth of tlie Cape 

Mrs. Elizabeth Catherine ReRossei to Mr, John Burgwyn. 

Mr. John Burgwynn, 

Chinese Temple, Sept. 10th, 1775. 
This I fear will be my very last for a long time. 

I ventured some days ago to give Mr. Grayham some advice 

S6 Ths Umivbrsitt Rboord 

about your corn-field. You must know that a violent storm 
ushered in the month of September: it lasted a whole night 
and a part of next day: it began at East and came around to 
N. East with great violence. The fine promising- crops of 
corn are all down within a half a foot of the ground. Now 
that my experience has taught me that the weight of the tops 
helps greatly to bend it down, I advised Mr. Grayham to cut 
them oflf, and told him that the corn would soon right itself. 
He said, what fodder he got was ruined and the Hermitage 
half under water, all the bridges carried off, and he was oblig- 
ed to go to Castle Hayne by water — the roads everywhere al- 
most impassible. This storm was a great hindrance to ves- 
sels loading, and they are not to (be) brought up again peri- 
gers* sinking and running on shore — three poor sailors drown- 
ed — no negroes lost, tho' many were in danger. The com- 
mittee talked of permitting the shipping, Monday and Tues- 
day, to finish their loading, because they shan't work Sunday, 
it being the 10th. Who more religious than our Wilmington 
folk? Mr. Hays goes to the West Indies; he will remain their 
till he is permitted to return. — Perhaps you will be surprised 
to hear Mr. Hogg is in England. He was one of your non- 
conformed to the times, and so made off. He first attempted 
it at Bogiie; but they would not let him go. He then came 
home; mustered with the rest upon the hill; but took his op- 
portunity, whenCapt. Arthur was ready, to go. 'Tis said that 
he carries the Governor's dispatches. I begin to think your 
JUST NOW. Had you been here, you must have declared 
yourself of one party or the other: you must have taken your 
turn on the watch: and, you must have mustered. Your prop- 
erty would have been insecure. As it is the case is other- 
wise. You are one of your [illegible] now. You cannot conform 
to anything because you are. incapable. No one will be so 
cruel as to have the property of an infirm man, who was drove 
home by a dreadful accident to get cured. I think I could 
plead very well in such a case as yours. My gouty foot is 
better, and presents its compliments to your lame one. Would 
you change complaints with me? Col. Howe says he would 
not. All the world is at Hillsboro, and nothing they have 
done, has as yet transpired. I can give you no information. 
'Tis thought they intend to raise two thousand men; 
and you will come in for your quota of the expense, though in 

^A large undecked boat or lighter with mast and sail. 

Jambs Sprumt Histobioal MoNoaaAPH Sf 

England; and so must poor T, though their laws have already 
taken from me ^96 per annum in the one article of cooperage; 
besides the loss they will occasion in the hire of my other ser- 
vants, which will lessen with the distress of the place — and 
I shall have no resource of any kind. Still I have my resolu- 
tion to bring my mind to my interest^ if they will but leave 
the little house over my head, and not frighten me out of my 
senses.— Things must go a great length before I fly my own 
house, as the moment I do so, I presume, it might be pillaged. 
I forgot to tell you in its place, as I designed, that Mr. Hogg 
has been up again to Town, and has wrote a very genteel let- 
ter to Mr. Hooper: he has left a hundred pounds sterling for the 
use of the public. Mr. Hogg is a very clever gentleman, and may 
now carry as many dispatches as he pleases. And now let me 
whisper in your ear: it is a matter of wonder that Mr. Bur- 
gwynn had not done some such thing before he left, or left 
orders to have it done. I assure you this was no bad policy 
in Mr Hogg: It will most effectually secure his property; and 
retrieve what he had lost with the public. 

Mr. Tom Hooper has lost his. wife: he has come lo live in 
my neighborhood at Mr. John Moor's. Mrs. Greorge — of that 
name — (Enceinte) again. Your friends at the lodge are well; 
but so distant I never see them — now and then the Dr. calls 
and drinks small beer with me. Poor London looks mightily 
down upon the times but don't speak. 

Yrs. &c., 

E. C. De Rosset. 
Mr. J. Burgwyn, London. 

(Fragment of a letter, without date.) 

Such great events have certainly had the hand of God in 
them, to bring about His own wise determination. I firmly 
believe, that, happen what will, all is designed by God's good 
providence for the benefit of the whole, in some future aire of 
the world, tho' at present an in jury to individuals. And what 
am I? or what my father's house that I should be exempt from 
suffering? 1 stand or fall with the hermitage, so help me 
God: (as far as I can judge of myself), but, indeed I am no 
coward, I never knew how much before this trial. I never 
wished to be a man, before last month. Dr. Cobham wishes 
me to be a woman. Had it not been for my cowardice^ I would 
have gone straight to Castle Haynes to live; but a thousand 
fears arose from being quite alone in the country. The other 

M Trb UmTSROTT Rbookd 

dtfj loo JffgHimtars (as they call them) cam€ d&wn as faros 
Biaupofits artdg€^ in order to maie the merchants (and espec- 
tatty Jack Moored sell their goods cheaper. Mr. Moore went 
to meet them and conferredivith them, and, I suppose, pacified 

They returned home again. I assure you these are the folks 
I^tandmost in dread of. I hear that the county has come to 
a resoltttioii, that if the Governor, men of war, or King^s 
troops, destroj Town, bouses or private property, and spetre 
ttie effects of the Kingf's Officers and Servants, not a house (of 
the Royalists) shall be kft standin^^. So perhaps I will have 
the fate of the fish that jump o«t oif the fryingpau into the 
fire. — Mr. Tom Hooper went to Scotland, in the vessel with 
Miss Shaw and Miss Rutherford, on his way to Engfland. 
Wfcat a strang-e medley of a letter is mine: 'Tfs such a hotch- 
potch of stuff, that it resembles either an olio or a haggis. 
Call it what you please. I liave a perfect apothecary's shop 
in your closet. Mr. Grayham says 1 shall be Doctor, and be 
my mate; so if your negroes are not killed it will not be our 
fault. He wished to give Mrs. Gra^ham an honorable post un^ 
der M5; but I could not think of degrading a lady who had been 
so extremely civil to me — l)esides she is much too tall for such 
an office. Mr. G. is so good as to let me use my own linen; 
and *tis washed by my own servants. Tbo' I don't break your 
family rules, I drink a dish of tea in my own chamber every 
morning. Tea! say you! I do have tea! Yes truly, I do! 
You must know Sir — whether from the sympathies of the 
times or not? I can't say — but, certainly, on the 10th of 
Sept. I was taken very sick; indeed, not only looked so but, 
was very ill. I thought if I could drink tea, I should recover 
much sooner; but, as I did not choose to do this in private, I 
asked leave of the Committee, and they gave me a very crac- 
ious permission in the consideration of my age and innrmi* 

ties. If I keep house, it will hurt me excessively to live 

in such a hospitable neighborhood as this, and not be able to 
ask them to take dinner with me. 

Mr. John Burgwynn, London." 

Yrs. &c., 

E. C. De Rosset. 

* This letter was written from the Hermitage, the seat of 
Mr. Burgwyn. Castle Haynes, the seat of General Hugh 
Waddell, is in sight. 

Although much of the following letters is of a private 
nature, they are printed because of the prominence of the 
writer in stormy days. Rev. Adam Boyd came to Wihning^ 
ton from Pennsylvania prior to the Revolution and was editor 
of the Cape Fear Mercury. During the war he was a chap- 
lain of the patriot army, a member of the Committee of 
Safety of Wilmington, and of the Committee of Correspond- 
ence with Harnett and others. He acted as Rector of St;. 
James' Church. His letters thiow light on the 4iotrtssf ul 
condition of ministers of the Gospel after the war, especially 
of those of the Protestant Episcopal Church, who suffered 
from the intense hostility to the Church of England. 

Augusta, Qa., April 179^ 
My dear John, 

And now I am on the subject of self, wonderful appeals 

to me, the events that have occurred in this place. La^t ye«r 
I was determined on leaving, and this year the same. Now I 
am not able to travel; but if I were, it appears improper. 
The regard with which I am treated, and the provision madte 
for my support appear, with many other eircnm^tances, as if 
Providence had designed this for my charge. The provision 
is not what it shot^ld be; but, it is nearly twice as much as it 
has yet been, except part of last year. These, and such 
things attach me to the place (in a moral view). And yet, 
after all, mj heart breathes many a sigh for Wilminpcton. 
* * In WilmiiMftou I could not breathe. Had I continued 
there, I have no doubt, but, that the grave would have closed 
over^me long ago. Here, I have escaped gout, asthma, and 
much of a cough, which, there, used to harass me alternately. 
Besides in my professional character, I think I have been 
more useful here, than I could have been there. With respect 
to money, much the same I suppose, except in this. The 
non-payment of the Parish would not have distressed me as it 
does here. I have been in real want of clothing and, as to 
board, I live chiefty at others' tables^ In this distress I 
attempted to relieve myself by selling certificates at about 
one fourth of their value. I was cheated out of the whole. I 
got lots, then in demand; but it soon appeared that the whole 
was mortgaged to the public. My certificates funded about 
^1000 and I lost all. The man went away and died, a bank- 
rupt. A friend of mine was on his return to Ireland, so he 

M ¥hb XfmrwBsrrY ftBoORb 

called to see me. Talking of my situation, he observed 

*'you need not wish to be in better esteem than you are." 

All this increases my attachment. But still I wish to be with 
MaggT and you. * * Recollection fails me very often. I 
was always an absent man. * * 

Yrs. affecty. 

A. Boyd. 

Feby. 8th, 1799. 
My dear friend, 

My strength returns so slowly, that I am not yet able to 
write you as I wish. Yet the mercies, which I enjoy, demand 
infinitely more thanks than I can give. I hope this little 
attempt at justice will please. If it be approved and engraved 
it will give me pleasure. Should it be thought to publish it, 
I submit. If published, below is a proper introduction. 
Hoping that heaven will regard us with an eye of mercy, I 
have much pleasure in thinking we shall meet again. I am 
extremely anxious to be amongst you. But I fear I shall not 
be able to breathe that air; and to be a burden to you would 
distress my mind. It is astonishing, weak tho' I be, almost a 
child, I am enabled to preach more to the satisfaction of the 
audience than I could four years ago, and with more satisfac- 
tion to myself. Adieu! The Almighty God in His great 
goodness preserve us all! 

Affectionately yours, 

A. Boyd. 

This stone is consecrated 

to the noble purpose of recording 

Female Merit 


for many years was known to the world 

by the names 


She was singularly attentive and useful 

to the children of affliction. 

In early life she was taught, 

by an excellent mother, 

the principles of the Christian religion. 

By these principles 

she governed her conversation and manners: 

but in the latter part of her life, 

hex patience and her faith 

had a severe exercise appointed them. 

Jambs ^prukt Mistobical BtoifoaRAPH 9t 

She was entirely deprived of that great blessing, 

the power of seein/^y 

and was crippled hy a stroke of the 


In this afiSicted and helpless condition, 

she experienced the most faithful attentions 

of her children and friends. 

But the dutiful and affectionate assiduity 

of an only daughter, 


was such that it admits 

neither Eulogy nor Parallel. 

Heaven pitying her a£9iction 

sent His messenger 


called fier home. 

(Perhaps it would look better this way) 


X Sent His Messenger x 

X and called her x I like the first better than 

X Home. x I did before I wrote the last. 


Blindness and pain no lonpfer bring distress: 
To lig'ht eternal raised in realms of Joy, 

His praise, who purchased such ecstatic bliss, 
Her tongue in transports ever shall employ. 

Midst pleasures ever new, which ever flow, 
Thro' endless ages that ne'er cease to roll. 

Burning with Heavenly love, she'll ever glow. 
And bliss unceasing still transport her soul. 

In 1779 Mr. Boyd repulsed from the Communion Tables one 
whom he regarded as an adulteress. This act soon involved 
him in serious difficulties; and he withdrew from Augusta. 
Having first accepted an invitation to preach at a place not 
far below Augusta, he seized the opportunity to visit Ten- 
nessee, that he might look after the land granted him by 
Congress for his Revolutionary services. 

Nashville, Tennessee, 18tb April 1800 
Dear Doctor, 

Nothing can be said in opposition to your reason, and yet I 
feel the disappointment. My situation is singularly unf ortun- 

ate. I believe it the worse by the neg-lect of some cross- 
posts. I know four letters have been lost, that is, they have 
been six months and no account of them yet. This has made 
me ignorant of the things I should have known about my own 
affairs. I also believe, it is owing to some accident in that 
way that I have not had a little relief from Charleston. 

I had hoped, from the benevolent exertion of a few, a sum 
to be refunded, but without interest. These disappointments 
will, I fear, compel me to accept terms, which will do little 
more than give prescntrelief. A deception in the survey, will 
oblige me to begin a suit, or to petition your assembly. Both of 
these I dislike. Yet^ it is too hard to lose so much, especially 
as my journey hither has been so unfortunate and expensive. 
However, I shall not repine, and hope to preserve such a sense 
of the goodness of God, as shall secure my mind that calm- 
ness, which is natural to a trust in iAat Power, Yet with 
grief and shame I confess I am not as tranquil as I was. 
Continual disappointments and losses, I now fear, have an 
influence I did not expect. If you knew all, or one-half, you 
would say, to be serene under such a mountain requires more 
strength of mind than is commonly the lot of man. Indeed, 
I do not think it attainable without superior aid. Perhaps I 
failed in this, in being too secure, or too confident in myself; 
the first I think the cause: as to the last I know I have no 
strength. I am too thoughtless in everything; hence, all, or 
nearly all, the evils of my chequered life. * * You know 
Fielding*iB Parson Adaftis. My sermon on Peby. 22nd was so 
well received, that a subscription was directly opened for its 
publication. But such triflers are our Printers, that I know 
not when I shall be able to publish it. The name of Wash- 
ington may recommend it; but, such has been their negli- 
gence,, that the time for selling is lost. The story is grown 
old and two courts have passed. I am afraid my dear Magda- 
Pen win suspect my affection for her. I did write her once; 
but I felt so much, I did not like to write her again. Her 
baf>^ness is very dear to me. I have sent some little pieces 
of mine to Mrs. Wilkings, with design that Mrs. Toomer 
should have a copy if she desired it. Perhaps they may 
assist her meditations. My capacity for travel is not to be 
boasted of. A stiff inflexible knee, that deprives me of the 
use of one Leg — a dislocated hip and a leg at least four inches 
shorter than Nature made it. So helpless too that I cannot 
put on my o>sn clothes. I must go in a carriage; but into 
that r must be lifted. On my way hither, often did I descend 

Jambs Spruht Hwiorioal M ovoorafh tt 

from my car to avoid jolts. But on crutches I cannot contend 
with the rocks, nor walk over them. So I shall get jolting 
enough for a life of one hundred years. The worst is rocky 
bottoms of rivers and steep banks. Terrible are many things 
in the perspective; yet, if life be spared, I mean to make the 
attempt as soon as possible. I hope to be with you in Octo- 
ber. Is it possible to get anything for preaching in your 
town? But I fear the asthma will find me out, there. How- 
ever I purpose to try it. I wish very much you could get fifty 
dollars on the loan, and even on interest, ro be transmitted to 
Dr. Say, of Philadelphia. It is for a very particular purpose, 
and can be replaced within a year. I had sent some money 
there; but, my last summer's misfortune obliged me to recall 
it. I have no doubt but that Maj. McRee would lend it. 
Please tell the Major, that I am glad to find he is so well set- 
tled, and, that I wish him to write me I have heard, our 
cousin Jas. Moore made a sale of land to Gov. Blount, who is 
dead. I fear James made a bad bargain. However, I think 
he should write, without loss of time, to Willie Blount Esqr. 
I take him to be a man of candor, and be will probably secure 
the property. The heir of Col. Wm. Davie should likewise 
appear, or employ ^me attorney. Lands are not saleable; but, 
so many tricks are played, that great attention is required to 
prevent chicane. Two of my horses have died and another 
has run away, tho' I hope he may be recovered. So according 
to the old saying, one single misfortune rarely happens to a 
man. If I think of Wilmington, I must be often at the 
sound; and, I must endeavor to be concerned in some little 
business. I can eat yout* meat but I must wear my clothes. 
I must also have a servant, and, should keep a horse for exer- 
cise, as I cannot walk much through the sand. 

In your letters you rarely mention any of my old friends. 
What is come of Lillington's family; Shaw; John Moore; 
Maj. Sam. Ashe; the General's son; and my old friend Gov. 
Ashe; Mr. Heron &c &c. If it please God, I shall have not a 
little pleasure in seeing my old friends once more. Yet I 

know not why, I feel as if I should never reach the place. 

I lament very much than I can so seldom declare the Word of 
Grod, in public. A Clergyman, who reasons admirably, 
preaches here every other Sunday. The house he preaches m 
has an earthen floor — so I am afraid to go in it, either to 
speak or to hear. I did preach in a tavern the other Sunday, 
but the Methodists have taken the alarm, and, as the house is 
theirs, they preach every other Sunday; sq that I am cut off, 


M . Taa UvTwrnmaaT 

This siteiioe grieves me. Yet, I am not idle; I weekly pubr . 
lish'aome moral essaj or advice in the papers. More sertoua. 
{lieces I attempted^ but tbey have been laid aside a& 
tmtt for their readers, that is their publishers. So, I try, 
always, that I can, to do some good. My carriage is shab- 
tered by the fall, and worn out, like myself, by time, that^to; 
buy another, I suppose^ will be cheapest. Heavy, heavy, are 
my losses, but,, they do not depress my spirits, t still have a 
hope that I shall be supported so as not to suffer want. Yet, 
it is not long since a Clfnrgyman was suffered to languish oat 

of the. world in an^ Pray beg Mr. Wilking^ to encjuire if 

Mr^ John Caldwell, lately from Ireland, Merchant, be in New 
York or not^ He had 10 guineas for me, sent by a cousin in 
Irtland. I drew for the money to pay my surgfeon, and I have 

written him three times, but no answer can I yet obtain. 

€U>d in His infinite mercy grant us all His protection and 
blessing,, that we may all meet around His throne, in the f ulr. 
nesfr of eternal joy. Amen. 

Affecty. yours 

Adam Boyd.. 
The orator of Congress makes a vacancy of happiness in 
Heaven!! Is it possible that such a body could pass unnoticed 
such a denial of everything sacred? 

The last of this series of letters is dated Natchez, Deer. 
30tk, 1802: It requests Dr. De Rosset to send him (Boyd) his 
certificates of membership with the Masonic Lodge; states he 
was initiated in Jany. 1764; that Peter Mallett and Col. 
DeKeyser were in the Lodge with him; and that on St. 
John's Day, 1770, at the dinner at Emmet's house, '*a little 
back from the street" he and Mr. London acted as stewards. 

The letter further states that Boyd '*for the purpose of ex- 
tending a knowledge of divine truth," had prepared some lit- 
tle books for children; and, that his principal friends at 

Natchez were Jas. Moore, Steele, the late Secretary, and 

ForlDes from Newberne. 

Jambs Sprunt BWKmiCML Mowogbaph 8S 

AuUfbiograpkicml Sketeh by Dr. Armand John DeRitfssei^ m^ 

iS47y Twelve Tears Before His Deaths of the 

DeRasset Family. 

My beloved childreii have asked me to commit to paper such' 
recDllections of onr Ancestry & Family as may have coxoe tO' 
my knowledge, or been received by tradition; I will attempt, 
tho' perhaps in a very desultory way. 

Our paternal ancestors were from Narbonne, one of the old 
French provinces, perhaps from neighborhood of Montpelier; 
and were of (so called) noble blood; this fact appears from old 
papers now in my possession, as well as from traditionary 
testimony. In some of these papers, the individuals^ to whom 
they relate, are styled **Noble": in others ''Most Noble". I 
mention this not as entitling us to any consideration or re* 
spect» other than such as our conduct and characters, as men 
St Christians, endeavoring conscientiously to perform our duty 
to'God & our fellow-men, may justly claim. 

I know but little of my ^ grandfather, except by tradition 
through my venerated mother, and from several military com- 
missions, now held by me, under the monarchy of Great 
Britain^ in whose service he was. His being in the service of 
that country may be accounted for by his professing the pro- 
testant religion, & by the claim of that nation to the sov- 
ereignty of sundry provinces of France. 

I find amongst the old family papers, one entitled ''Extracts 
from a Contract of Marria^^e between a Louis de Rousset, & 
Madame Gabriel le de Gondin" dated 1671: as I suppose being* 
my Great-Grand-Father & his wife: for in some of the old 
family papers the named is so spelled; tho' in most of them, 
as we now spell it. It has been told me by my mother, that 
durincf the military life of my Great-Grand-F-ather he was 
lony (perhaps nearly 20 years) separated from his family: 
during that time his wife had become quite blind, and on his 
return did not recognize him & refused to believe him to be 
her husband, till she felt a certain mole on his neck which 
having done she fainted in his arms. 

Mv grandfather, as far as I have heard, was the only scm: 
of his parents — his name — Armand — is said to have married a 
Swiss lady. My mother knew her well, handsome, amiable, 
& indeed lovely in her character. He probably got acquainted 
with her during the period of his medical studies in that 
country; for he graduated in year 1720 at Basle. I have now 

86 Ths Uniysbsitt Rboord 

his diploma, reciting* bis family, his residence &c. At what 
time he emig^rated from France I cannot certainly tell: but 
but have heard that it was during* some of the numerous per- 
secutions of the Protestants in that country. 

They reached England where my father was born, soon 
after their arrival in London, as I have heard. They had 
three children, Louis Henry, Gabrielle Ann, and my father 
Moses John. The bodies of my Grand-Father & his wife 
were buried in a lot now owned and used as a residence* of 
Doctor Jas. F. McRee, where they lived, & which they owned. 
When a child I re^nember being shown an apple tree said to 
be over their graves. 

My Uncle Louis Henry, married here, Miss Margaret Wal- 
ker, the sister of the late Mrs. Ann Quince & Jas. Walker 
who was afterwards the husband of the niece of my uncle. 
Miss Margt. Magdn. Dubois. My uncle died in London, 
leaving no children; his wife died here; her tomb is in St. 
James' Church yard, in this town. My uncle in our Revolu- 
tionarv strugg'le had attached himself to the Royal Party, 
believing- himself bound by sundry oaths of allegiance to the 
King of Great Britain; for he had filled several important 
|]^laces under the Government, and amongst them that of the 
Councillor of this Province. He was a most conscientious man, 
of strict integfrity, as illustrative of which I will relate an 
authentic anecdote. He had received* the appointment of 
Commissary of Prisoners, in Charleston, S. C., when that 
was a British garrison. A gentleman called and offered to 
relieve the old gentleman from the arduous duties of the office, 
and guaranteed to him the amt. of his receipts therefrom, 
reserving only such perquisites as he could derive from it. My 
uncle turned on him with indignation for supposing him scoun- 
drel enough to assent to such a proposal, telling him, that how- 
ever laborious they might be, he would continue to perform. the 
duties, rather than put it in the power of so unprincipled a fellow 
to cheat the King, or the poor prisoners, which was obviously 
his intention. My uncle had been at one time a merchant, 
but when the Revolution broke out, he was a planter, and 
living on his plantation, 7 or 8 miles from town, called Red 
Banks, but now known as Rose Hill. My father's sister mar- 
ried a Mr. John Dubois, & had two children, John, who mar- 
ried and moved to New York, and Magn. Margt. who married 

* 3nd St. between Market & Princess, owned bj Col. Roger Moore. 

Jambs Spbukt Historioal Konooraph 37 

as before mentioned Jas. Walker. John left no children; 
Magdn. Margft. had two ^ons and twa daughters. Her eldest 
son, James W., married and moved to Arkansas, with a large 
family. The younger son, Julius, as we Vnow, was the father 
of our beloved relatives, Revd. C. Bruce Walker, & Mary Ann 
Wright. One of the daughters, Harriet, married a lawyer, 
Edwin J. Osborne, whose descendants are in the interior of 
the State. The younger daughter, Louisa, married Genl. 
Jos. G, Swift, & lives in Geneva, New York, with several 
descendants. The late Capt. Alexn. Swift, of a military 
Corps in the U. S. was their eldest son. He died universially 
esteemed, respected & regretted. McRee Swift, our beloved 
friend, late an engineer on our R. Road (Wil. & Wei.), now 
in New York, is another one of her sons. They have several 
sisters with whom we are not acquainted. 

My Grand-Father's youngest son, Moses John, was my 
father. He married Miss Mary Ivie, whose sister, Ann, mar- 
ried the late Genl. Moore, of our Revolutionary army. 

The Miss Ivies were the daughters of a Scotch gentleman, 
their mother a lady of Jamaica, W. Indies. After the death 
of their father Ivie, their mother married Mr. Marmaduke 
Jones, an English gentleman of the old school. A highly 
respected and eminent Ck)unsellor at law, whom I well recol- 
lact, for his neatness of person & his preciseness of character 
& conduct & conversation. My honored mother left but two 
children, a daughter & myself. My father died on Christmas 
Day 1767, shortly after my birth & was buried on his birthday, 
feteing St. John's Day, ' aged 41 years, having been bom 27, 
Deer. 1726. 

In 6 or 7 years after my father's death, my mother marjied 
Revd. Adam Boyd, from Virginia, or perhaps Pennsylvaliia. 
I knew several of his connections in Philada. He was an 
Episcopalian; was a martyr to asthma; had conducted a peri- 
odical newspaper here, called Cape Fear Mercury; was chap- 
lain in the Revolutionary Army. His asthmatic complaint 
compelled his removal to the West, where he died in Natchez. 
My mother had declined accompanying him, being unwilling 
to leave her children. By Mr. Boyd she left no offspring, & 
died in summer of 1798. My sister had married Mr. Henry 
Toomer & left two sons and two daughters. My mother's sis- 
ter died about two years after the death of Genl. Moore, her 

* Edwin J. Osborne was one of the first graduates of the University, in 
17d8. This is probably the same. 

hatband, early in the Revolution & left two sons and two 
dang'hters. I married twice, as you know, in Charleston, 
S. C, my two wives were sisters & were nieces of Mr. Toom- 
.er, my sister's husband. Their father, a Scotchman, Jno. 
Fullerton, nephew of the celebrated David Hume, the Histor- 
ian. I had in my possession a letter from Mr. Hume to his 
nephew, your grandfather Fullerton, and loaned it for the use 
•of a Society in Charleston, who were desirous of getting a 
facMiimile of his hand-writing. I have not been able to recov- 
er it. 

My first wife, my beloved Mary, lived about six years after 
our marriage, which was on Octr. 6th. 1791, & died Novr. 97, 
and here let me record a tribute to her worth. As a wife she 
was all I could wish, & assured me a few days t>ef6re her 
death that never a regret at having married me had disturbed 
her happiness. She bro't me a son and three daughters. The 
daughters died in infancy. My beloved son Moses John was 
all that a father could wish. He lived to 30 & half years of 
age, an accomplished & indefatigable Physician & Surgeon. 
He had been married between three and four months to Idiss 
Sarah S. Waddell, of Brunswick Cy., when he died, last of 
June 1826. 

Nearly two years after the decease of my wife, being still 
a young man, I resolved upon a second marriage, but could 
not reconcile it to my feeling to place a stranger over my be- 
loved child, then an infant, less than a year old. I therefore 
determined to offer myself to your lamented mother, whose 
excdlencies of character I had long known, and whom I loved 
with unfeigned affection. I proposed to her to become my 
wife & take charge of my little tK>y which after many scruples 
on account of our relative situation, she consented to do, with 
the full approbation of her mother (Your respected grand- 
mother Fullerton) & her sister, your Aunt Reighton; nor had 
I any just occasion to regret my union with Catherine Fuller- 
ton. She was in all respects a helpmeet for me; & ever en- 
deavored to promote my interest & happiness. By her I had 
seven children, three sons and four daughters, two of the sons 
died in childhood. My beloved Armand John, and you my 
very dear daughters, Catherine G., Elizabeth Ann, Magdalen 
•Mary, & Mary Jane, are left to comfort me now in my creat- 
It advanced years, being this the 17, November, 1847, my birth- 
day, eighty years of age. And what I wait for now, but the 
daily expected call to depart hence. Oh that I may be pre- 
pared to come into the presence of my GOD & SA vIOR, & 

Jambs. Spbumv HiflTORinAi. KoiroaRAFH to 

join all my beloved and departed ones in tke realm^of liappi- 
ness & peace. My daug^hter Catherine is now a widow,, tiie 
relict of a Methodist Clergyman, Mr» M. Kennedy: my daugh- 
'ter Mary Jane, the wife of an Episcopal minister, Revd. M^ A. 
Curtis, she is the mother of five children now alive, 4 son^ A 
.a daughter. Mrs. Kennedy, my oldest daughter, .has no 
children. My daughters Elizabeth & Magdalen are unmiar- 
ried, and in charge of my household, together with Mrs. Ken- 
nedy. My children are truly a comfort and the joy of my life. 
. . My son Armand John, married Miss Lord, by whom he has 
nine children (all living) three daughters and six sons. 

My grand father, my father and myself & both of my sons 
have been practitioners of medicine in this place. I am still so, 
-having been engaged in professional pursuits here nearly 
fifty-eight years; and have prescribed for six generations in 
one family. Such an instance can scarcely be , fonud 
in. our country. Give God all the praise for whatever I may 
. have been able to do, in any way agreeable to His most hply 
will. Oh praise the Lord! 

Thus my dear children I have thrown together i^a a desul- 
tory way, for your gratification such family reminiscences as 
..have presented themselves to my recollection, should any 
others occur to my mind they shall be added. 

Your aflfeete. Father 
: Wilmington, N. C, A. J. De Rosset . 

Novr. 17 th, 1847. 

P. S.r— I lived with your dear mother, from Isi,, Angust 
1799, our wedding dajr to 9th March 1837, when she was t^ken 
from me by a most painful and protracted disease. My first 
wife died of consumption. , 

\ The foregoing memoranda might have been much extended, 
nbutforlhe disastrous fire of 1840, in which my olcf Fre|^h 
Family Bible, containittg numerous family records, waB 
destroyed, together with several other valuable memorials of 
the family. 

It was reported & I believe on good authority^ that the resti- 
tution of the family Titles and Estates, forfeited by their emi- 
gration, has been tendered to my uncle, not long before the 
Revolution in France, upon the condition of his return 
to the bosom of the Romish Ch., the offer, . if made^was of 
course rejected by him. 

A Col. Armand, came to this place during the Revolution, 
I believe with French Troops, was said & believed to be a 
near relative of our family. My uncle, much prejudiced 

40 Thb Uniybbsitt ftBOoaD 

ag-ainst the whole nation, would make no inquiry, nor any 
advance toward him. 

It was also said that a branch of the De Rosset family 
existed in Narbonne, not Protestants, but if so, how connected 
with us could not be known. 

I believe the above report preceeded from Mr. Jas. Walker 
who having married my uncle's niece, enjoyed his entire con- 
fidence, even to the period of his death. 

I had neglected to state some circumstances in my father's 
life, related to me by my mother. On his attaing- his major- 
ity, before commencing his professional life, he became enam- 
ored of a Miss B., who was not deemed on a footing (with) 
him; being a dutiful & affectionate son he yielded to his 
father and other friends, and went to sea, a supercargo; the 
vessel was taken by a privateer, I believe Spanish, was carried 
to some of their ports, & thrown into prison, stripped of 
everything. How long he continued there I forget; though 
I think one or two years. When released he got on board 
some vessel, & arrived in Boston, & after being supplied with 
clothing and necessaries in abundance by a Mr. Campbell, I 
think his name was Thomas, he returned home. Mr. C. was 
the brother of the late Mr. Campbell of this place, in compli- 
ment to whom, our late friend Mr. W. C. Lord was called. 

After my father's return he entered upon the practice of 
physic & continued it till his death. Miss B. had married. 
A very close friendship and correspondence was carried on 
between Mr. Campbell & my father to the last day of his 

You will remark that family rank and standing in those 
days were not lost sight of; hence the disaplMrobation of my 
father's friends to his union with Miss B. No objection was 
raised to his connection with your grand mother; indeed I 
believe his attentions to her were directed by his friends. 

Note — Mrs. Catherine DeRosset Meares enables me to give 
further items in re«fard to the author of this letter. He was 
trained for college by his mother and her sister, and by his 
step-father. Rev. Adam Boyd, supplemented by a school in 
Hillsboro, N. C. He entered Princeton University, then Col- 
lege of New Jersey, at the age of seventeen. Having slender 
means he pursued his studies in vacations, at the same time 
teaching other students. He thus graduated in three years. 

Jambs Spbunt Historioal Monogbapr 41 

in 1785. On his return home he was shipwrecked, losing* his 
spare clothing and books. The next year he entered the Uni- 
rersity of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, and there gained the 
friendship of Benjamin Rush and other eminent men. Grad- 
uating in 1790, he at once settled in Wilmington and entered 
on an extensive practise, gaining the reputation of being one 
of the best physicians and surgeons in the South. He was 
in active service for sixty-nine years, visiting all who called 
on him for his services, whether or not able to pay. His 
last case was that of a woman 91 years old, who became the 
mother of a child. (See Proceedings of the N. C. Medical 
Society, May, 1859.) 

Dr. DeRosset was an ardent patriot as a boy of fourteen 
in the Revolution, engaging at that age in a fight at the 
Oaks, near Wilmington. In person he was short, not over 5 
feet 4 inches, with light blue eyes and ruddy complexion, 
with a benign expression. In dress always neat, keeping 
white linen stock, knee breeches and buckles, silk stockings 
and queue until his fiftieth birthday. His habits were regu- 
lar and perfectly temperate. He gave up about forty years 
before his death the old fashioned habit of regular toddies 
because he learned that his example was quoted by younger 
men. He was always courteous and boundlessly hospitable. 
He was idolized by his family and was a kind, judicious mas- 
ter of his slaves, several of whom after being freed becoming 
useful ministers of the Grospel. For many years he was Port 
Physician of Wilmington. He was a promoter of the Bible 
Society of Wilmington and for a long time its President, suc- 
ceeding the first President, George Hooper. He was an 
active member and Lay Reader of St. James church, and a 
generous supporter. He was for many years a Justice of the 
Peace. He was for thirty years a Director of the Bank of 
Cape Fear, and a $10,000 subscriber to the stock of the Wil- 
mington and Raleigh, now Wilmington and Weldon Railroad 
Company. By subscribing an equal amount totneRockfish 
Cotton Factory he assisted in the promotion of these useful 

42 Tjb TJifuwrnamrrY BMoams> 

This moBt excellent man lived to kis 93tid 3^ar, ^isiiif 
above on Apri list, 1859. 

Contemporary Account of Conferring the Degree of M.D, ofi 

Dr, Armand John DeRosset by the University 

of Pennsylvania, 

The Penngylvania Packet. AND DALLY ADVERTISER 
of June 19, 1790, contains the following* article: 

'•Philadelphia, Jun 19, 
On Tuesday, June 8, the Commencement was held 
by adjournment, for the purpose of conferring* the degree 
of Doctor of Medicine, in the College 
hall of this city. The business was opened with a 
prayer, by the Rev. Dr. Smith, Provost of the Col- 
lege. A pertinent address was afterwards delivered 
to the audience, by Dr.Shippen, in which several 
judicious reasons were given for conferring the degree of 
Doctor, instead of Bachellor of Medicine 
in the College. The following candidates were then 
examined upon the subjects of their theses by 
the different Professors of Medicine: viz. 

Armand John De Rosset, of North Carolina, 

De Febribus Intermittentibus. 
James Proudfit, of the State of New York, 

De pleuritide vera. 
John Pennington, of Philadelphia, 
On Fermentation. 
The Latin theses were examined and defended, 
in the Latin language. The thesis on Fermentation, 
which, for the modern terms employed in it, was neces- 
sarily written in English, was examined 
and defended in the same language. 

The Degree of Doctor of Medicine was then conferred 
by the Provost, upon Samuel Powell Griffith, 
M. B. Professor of Materia Medica in the College, 
and upon each of the candidates, to whom the right 
hand of fellowship was afterwards publickly given 
by each of the Medical Professors. The business of the 
day was concluded with a sensible and pathetic 
address to the Graduates, by the Provost 
of the College." 


A copy of the Latin thesis of Dr. A. J. DeSfiosaet,' delivered 
upon his graduation at the Medical Colleg'e of Philadelphia, 
having" been sent to Hon. Benj. Hawkins, then U. S. Senator 
from North Carolina, the following acknowledgement was 

New York, June 25th, 1790. 

I acknowledge with great pleasure the receipt of your 
ktedical thesis, on intermitting fevers, which you did the 
honor to present to me. I do not presume to take on myself 
to judge of the performance, being incompetent, but some of 
my nmlical friends who are really learned, say it has consid- 
erable merit. 

Although I am a citizen of the World and admire merit and 
genius wherever it may be found, yet, I confess myself some 
what more interested in your little work as being the produc- 
tion of a fellow-citizen of the particular country that gave me 
being. I had heard you spoken of as possessing considerable 
talents and application, and, without the pleasure of knowing 
you, was desirous of your success, that you might be an exam- 
ple to^our countrymen, who, unfortunately, spend too much 
of their time in idleness and dissipation. 

Accept my best wishes for your success in your profession 
and future studies, and believe me, with much esteem, Sir, 
Your most obt. & humble Servt. 

^Benjamin Hawkins. 

Dr. De Rosset. 

Letters of ^Dr. Benjamin Rushy to Dr, DeRosset. 

Phili'da. Novr. 24th, 1790. 

Dear Sir: 
Both your letters came safe to hand, and gave me much 
pleasure. I am much obliged to you for jrour attention to the 
orders committed to you. I shall inquire into Mr. Standley's 
circumstances & act accordingly. 

Our City swarms with students of Medicine. But they are 
njearly equally divided between the College and the Univer- 
sity. • Dr. Shippen's attachment to the latter has been open 
and impudent this year; in consequence of which, * Dr. Hutch- 
inson has a larger class than ^ Dr. Wistar, and ^ Dr. Kuhn 
only ten in his class, less than I have in mine. I have made 

44 Thb Univbbsitt Rboord 

many additions to my lectures, especially to my proximate 
cause of fever. 

I consider the action in the arterial system to be a convul- 
sion, resemblini< in many particulars, a convulsion in the ner- 
vous system. I think I have fully established by many facts, 
my new theories of Dropsies. I have lately bled in anasarca, 
and hydrocephalus with success. In both cases there w^s 
g-reat excess of irreg^ular action, or convulsions in the arterial 

I have lately used injections of cold water in four cases of 
colic, attended with a full and iense pulse, and in all with the 
most desirable success. 

Your fellow students are all well. Mrs. Rush joins in the 
best wishes for your health and happiness, with Dr. Sir 

Yours Sincerely 

Benjamin Rush. 
Dr. De Rosset, Physician 

at Wilmington, N. C. 

Philida. May 6th, 1793. 
Dear Sir: 

You will perceive by the enclosed thesis the present state 
of opinions and practice in the University of Pennsylvania. 
My 2nd volume of Medical inquires will be published in the 
course of the ensuing- summer which will contain a full expla- 
nation of my principles on dropsy and Pulmonary Consump- 

My dear Mrs. Rush joins in my compliments to Mrs. De Ros- 
set and best wishes for your happiness, with Dr. Sir 

Your sincere friend 

2 Benjn. Rush. 

^ Benjamin Hawkins, of North Carolina — Aide-de-camp to 
Washing-ton; member of the Cong-ress of the Confederacy; one 
of the first Senators from North Carolina; Indian Agent; with 
residence in Georgia; author of Topography, and Indian char- 
acter, &c, 

2 Benjamin Rush, a Signer of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence; member of the Continental Congress; memt>er of the 
Convention which ratified the Federal Constitution; Professor 
of Medicine and Clinical Practice in the University of Penn- 
sylvania; distinguished himself in the yellow fever epidemic 

Jambs Sprunt Historical Monograph 45 

ill Philadelphia in 1703, and wrote a valuable history of it; 
author of other Medical works. 

^William Shippen, who delivered the first course of lec- 
tures on anatomy in America, it is said. 

* Dr. James Hutchinson, Surg^eon of the Continental Line, 
1776-'83; Professor of Materia Medica, University of Pennsyl- 

^Caspar Wistar, adjunct and then Professor of Anatomy in 
the University of Pennsylvania. Author of "System of 

* Adam Kuhn, the President of the College of Physicians 
and Surgeons. He was also a Botanist. 

Commisston to Dr. Armand John DeRosseU the Elder ^ to be a 
Surgeon of Militia, 


To Armand John De Rosset, Esqr. Greeting: 
We reposing special trust and confidence 
GKEAT in your Medical Knowledge, do hereby appoint 
SEAL OF you a Surgeon in the 3d Regiment of the MI- 
THE LITIA of our State: and you are hereby invest- 

STATE. cd with the authority and Commanr. belonging 
to said office, that you may promptly and Dili- 
gently perform the duties thereof , as prescribed 
by Law and Military Discipline, (after taking such oath or 
oaths as are necessary for vour qualification) in the discharge 
of which, all oflScers and Soldiers under your command are re- 
quired to yield to you their ready obedience. 

In testimony of which. His excellency WILLIAM HAW- 
KINS, Esquire, our Governor, Captain-General and Com- 
mander in Chief, hath caused the Great Seal of the State to 
be hereunto aflBxed, and signed the same at our City of Ral- 
eigh, on the 10th day of October in the year of Our Lord one 
thousand eight hundred and fourteen and of the Independence 
of the U. States the X^XIXth, 

By the Governor, ^ William Hawkins. 

Tho. Marcy, Private Secretary. 

1 William Hawkins, nephew of Senator Benjamin Hawkins. 

46' Thb UvivsB0nnp Hboorb 

He wms speaker of the House of Commons — Governor fr^m^ 

1811 to 1814. 

Extract from the Records oj the New Hanover Medicat 


* 'Present: Dr. Jas. H. Dickson, President; and Drs. An4er- 
son, Thomas,. McRee, Wright, Cutlar, Beerj, Potter, and 

Committee, appointed to prepare resolutions relative to the 
death of Dr. A. J. De Rosset, reported through Dr. !• H. 
Dickson, the following, which are adopted unanimously. 

Whereas: It has pleased the all-wise disposer of evento, to* 
call from this transitory life, at the very advanced age of 
Ninety-one years^ our venerable and highly esteemed profes- 
sional friend and "confrere" — Dr. Armand J. De Rosset, Sen- 
ior, we esteem it a duty, as well as a melancholy privilege, 
to place upon record, an united testimonial of our exalted ap- 
preciation of his character, both as a man and as a physician* 

Though by many years, the senior of those engaged in the 
active duties of the Medical profession; there are some among 
us, who have had the advantage of profiting in consultation, 
by the skill and large experience of this Nestor of our profes- 
sion, now no more among the living; and, who have had the 
opportunity of observing the calm wisdom of his intellect, and 
the uniform kindness and courtesy of his manner, which, in- 
deed, seemed to ripen with advancing years. 

After finishing his collegiate course at Princeton, A. J. De 
Rosset became a pupil of the celebrated Dr. Rush of Philadel- 
phia, and was one of the earliest graduates of the Medical 
College of the City. 

He had thus availed himself of the best means, which the 
time and the Country afforded, to prepare himself for the ar- 
duous and important duties of his professional life. 

Commencing his profession in the last decade of the last 
century, he continued in the active performance of its duties, 
until a few years past, when the growing pressure of years 
rendered him physically incompetent for its labors, while his 
intellect preserved its integrity to the close of his life. 

For several months past, it became painfully apparent to 
his friends that his strength was failing, and that the close of 
his earthly career was near at hand. 

Of this no one w«s better assured- than himself, and it was 

jAMBff SPBinfT HnfEOSiCAL Monograph 47 

consplatory to. observe the calmness and resigiiation with 
which he contemplated the approach of dissolution — not the 
calmness of the Stoic, but the peaceful, serene resignation of 
the Christian; for our venerable friend was of tl^ highest 
type of man — the Christian Gentleman. 

During his life he was an honor to the medicaL profession 
of the State, and after having served several generations 
faithfully and' acted his part worthily upon earth, he has at' 
length been gathered to his fathers, full of years^and full of 

'having now 
The bound of man's appointed years, at last 
Lifes blessings all enjoyed, lifes labor done, 
Serenely to his final rest, has past; 
While the soft memory of his virtues, yet 
Lingers like twiKght hues when the bright 
Sun is set.' 
He has both in his life and in his death, left us an example 
worthy of our imitation. 

His professional attainments were of a high order, and no 
doubt- contributed to the elevation of the professional charac- 
ter in our State; while his sterling qualities as a man and a 
Christian reflect their additional lustre upon it. 

Let it be our aim, by the practice of like virtues, to elevate 
ourselves, our profession and our State. 

Resolved: That, While we condole with his surviving rela- 
tions in the bereavement which they have sustained, we re- 
joice with them at the bright legacy which has been left them 
of a noble character erected on a basis of spotless integrity 
and a well spent life. 

The Secretary was directed to send the family of the de- 
ceased a copy of the above; and, also to furnish copies to. the 
local Press, and, to the N. C. Medical Journal. 

Jas. H. Dickson^ 
F. W, Potter, Prest. 


^ James Henderson Dickson, A.M.; M.D., was a graduate 
of this University in 1823. His M.D. was from Columbia 
College, N. Y. He was President of the Medical Society in 
North Carolina, in 18S4 and member of the Board of Medical 
Examiners, 1858-1862. He delivered an address before the 
Alumni. Association at Chapel Hill in 18 on the Progress of . 

48 Thx UinyBRfiiTT Rboobd 

Science, which was printed and much enhanced his reputa- 

Dr. Mosbs John DeRossbt, The Younger. 

As has been said Dr. Armand John DeRosset, the elder, had 
two sons, one by his first wife, Moses John, and the other by 
his second, Armand John DeRosset. 

Moses John DeRosset was born February 11, 17%, entered 
the University of North Carolina in 1813 and graduated in 
1816. He then obtained his diploma at the New York Medi- 
cal College in 1820, and practiced medicine with great success 
in copartership with his father. In the yellow fever epidemic 
in 1821 he was particularly active and skilful. He died July 
1, 1826, leaving an exceedingly high reputation. The follow- 
ing correspondence with Dr. Valentine Mot, the elder, one of 
tlie ablest surgeons this country has had, shows the high re- 
gard in which young Dr. DeRosset was held by the profession. 

Dr. Moses John DeRosset To Dr. Valentine Mott. 

Wilmington, N. C, July 4th, 1825. 

Dear Sir: 

I have a friend and a patient in whom I feel much interest, 
whose case has completely bafiSed my skill, and resisted every 
plan of treatment I could devise for three months past. You 
will oblige me much if you will state your opinion of its na- 
ture, remark freely upon its treatment and suggest any course 
that will probably afford relief, with as little delay as the na- 
ture of your engagements will permit. » 

Mr. J. W. aged 55, a rice planter of corpulent and plethoric 
habit, who lives a rather sedentary life, and, until the present 
attack, has enjoyed much uninterrupted health, was taken, 
about three months since, with pains, at times acute, about 
the eosiform cartilage, extending down into the right hypo- 
chondriac and iliac regions, attended with a sense of stricture, 
stretching around to the point of the scapula, and with some 
degree of unctation and rumbling of the bowels; the pain has 
been equally confined to the parts above mentioned, though 

Jambs Sprunt Historioal Monograph 49 

at times it is at the umbllicum, and has been felt even as low 
as the reg-ion of the bladder. Mr. W. seems to be under the 
impression, notwithstanding* ray opinion to the contrary, that 
his present malady is in some way connected and dependent 
on a disease under which he has labored at intervals for many 
years, which from the description appears to have been a vio- 
lent spasmodic affection of the stomach, and on one occasion 
(as long" ago perhaps as 1811) was so severe as to require sev- 
eral hundred drops of laudanum to allay it, and to produce 
ecchymoris, or effusion of purple spots over the entire body 
the day after. He complained occasionally in the commence- 
ment of his disease 'of a distressing pulsation in epigastric, 
which was never sufficiently evident for me to ascertain 
whether it was synchronous with the pulse or not; it appears 
to me to arise from nervous irritation; he has not complained 
recently of the symptom. His pulse has been almost uniform- 
ly full, and intermittent, but never more than eighty strokes 
in the minute, his appetite has been little or not impaired; 
his spirits much depressed; his body considerably much ama- 
ciated; his complexion and eyes clear; his stools natural both 
as to color and consistency, his tongue generally clean, and 
there has been no difficulty of lying on either side. 

The disease has been unattended throughout with any 
cough, dyspnoea, nausea or pain in the shoulders; no percep- 
tible enlargement of the hepatic region, and until latterly, 
the pain not increased by pressure. -The disease at first pre- 
sented itself to my mind as a disordered state of the digestive 
function, in which every symptom of hepatic derangement 
was absent, except pain in that region, accompanied with a 
nervous irritability and depression of spirits bordering- on 

The treatment consisted of active depletion the Lancet, 
by cathartics repeated twice a week for some time, with a 
succession of blisters, with a mercurial course carried to the 
extent of a pretty full ptyalism, and with tartar emetic oint- 
ment, with little or no evident benefit; at one time I supposed 
that the pain might proceed from tape-worm, and prescribed 
an active dose of ol. terebinth, with more relief of the urgent 
symptoms perhaps than from any article which he has taken. 
It was repeated without my direction, but was not attended 
with the same relief, though with some affection of the uri- 
nary organs, which was removed without difficulty. At an- 
other time I prescribed the tr. colch. vinous, under the im- 
pression that it might proceed from a gouty diathesis, but 

60 Thx Unitbrsitt Rbcx>rd 

with the like unsuccessful result. He is now and has been 
for some time on the use of the nitric acid, and as the tart, 
emetic ointment has ceased to produce the pustulating^ effect, 
I have sent him camphorated mercurial ointment, to be applied 
to the hepatic region, intending to thus affect his mouth very 
slightly again. I find it still necessary to, occasionally, resort 
to the use of the lancet, and I think always with benefit, the 
blood when drawn looks thick and dark, and ccvered with 
buff when co^^ling. He has never been confined to his bed, 
his diet is strictly antiphlogistic, and ngular exercise on 
horseback has been prescribed, the last part of the prescription 
however, owing to his great repugnance to motion, I fear he 
does not regard to its full letter. A visit to the North and 
especially to Saratoga has been recommended but not con- 
curred in by the patient. He usually spends his summers in 
the interior of his State, about a hundred and fifty miles from 
the seaboard, in a fine salubrious climate, and probably will 
ride much among the mountains during the ensuing season. 

Thus far I had written when I received a summons to visit 
him about 30 miles from this, but before I saw him the urgent 
symptoms which had occasioned my call had disappeared 
without remedy-. As described by Mrs. W — one of the most 
intelligent ladies I ever saw, they were these: Acute pain at 
the scrobiculus cordis, subsultus of almost every muscle in the 
body, great redness of the face, and violent throbbing of the 
carotids and temporals, *in her emphatic language, — he looked 
all over like one great pulse. When I saw him the next day, 
he was much as usual except the pulse was smaller, more reg- 
ular and much quicker than I had ever felt it. In case of a 
recurrence of the paroxysm I directed the use of ether, and 
laudanum and synapisms to the pained part. I took eight or 
ten ounces of blood from his arm, and as depletion had now 
been carried as far as I deemed necessary or prudent, I advised 
tonics, and their journey to the back country to be commenced 
immediately. Could your great experience and extensive pro- 
fessional acquirements suggest any plan of treatment afford- 
ing- a probable prospect of success, I should feel greatly 

Your obedt, servant 
Dr. Valentine Mott, (Signed) M. J. De Rosset. 

New York. 
Dear Doctor: 

Your letter of 4th inst. I very much admire for the excellent 
history and description of a case which is presented for my 

Jambs Spbunt Historical Monograph 51 

opinion. You have beyond doubt narrated the symptoms of 
the case with great fidelity; but I must confess I am fearful 
that it will not be in my power to improve the excellent treat- 
ment you have subjected him and sugfgested to him. I frank- 
ly confess I cannot name his disease. Some functional or 
organic derangement may exist, which has occasioned great 
nervous irritability. It may be in the stomach or liver or 
both. Your idea of travelling and residing at Saratoga I 
highly approve of, the best plan to be adopted by him. Per- 
haps you might give a pill of aloes, carb. ferri. and zinzib. to 
preserve the tone of the stomach, and keep up a gentle move- 
ment to some advantage, not however to omit exercise on 

Truly your friend, 
Dr. De Rosset (Signed) Valentine Mott. 

DR. Armand John DeRosskt, the Younger, 

son of Dr. Armand John DeRosset, the elder, by his second wife, 
was born October 9th, 1807. He was prepared for the Univer- 
sity by James W. Mitchell, entered it in 1821 and graduated 
in 1824, with Governor and Senator William A. Gra- 
ham, Judge Matthias E. Manly and other eminent men. He 
then attended lectures in Charleston and in Philadelphia, 
receiving his diploma from his father's university, Slate of 
Pennsylvania, in 1828. He practiced with much success and 
growing reputation for several years, when, finding the 
requirements too painful for his sympathetic temperament, 
he exchanged it first for a partnership in the Phoenix mill, 
and then in 1839 for that of a commission merchant with John 
Potts Brown. The business was lucrative until some time 
after the war with new partners, when the house got into 
financial trouble by reason of the extraordinary conditions 
then prevailing. Although the creditors offered a liberal com- 
promise, Dr. DeRosset refused to accept it, surrendered for sale, 
his beautiful home and other property and paid all his debts. 
To one who urged him to act otherwise he said, **The mens 
sibi conscia recti has been far more precious to me than the 
possession of any amount which the laws or the circumstances 
of the case would have enabled me to retain." After living 

62 The Univbrsitt Reoord 

in affluence for over three score and ten years he accepted 
the position of clerk, and without loss of self-respect or honor 
with the community, worked for the support of himself and 
those dependent on him. 

Dr. DeRosset was always a public spirited citizen. He was 
one of the first subscribers to the stock of the Wilmington and 
Weldon Railroad Company and a Director from its inaugura- 
tion for fifty-five years. In 1849 when the company was in 
straits he negotiated in England without compensation a loan 
in iron rails, which saved the road. After the Civil War, 
when ruin was again threatening, he, likewise, with no com- 
pensation, negotiated abroad in 1865 an extension of time of 
payment of the company bonds. 

In the Protestant Episcopal Church, of which he was from 
boyhood an active member, he suceeded his father as Senior 
Warden of St. James church and held the office for nearly 
fifty years. He was much of that time a member of the 
Standing Committee and Treasurer of the Diocese of North 
Carolina, and, after its division, of East Carolina until near 
his death, He likewise as Deputy represented for many years 
these dioceses in the General Convention, the highest honor 
a layman can have in this church. 

In 1829 Dr. DeRosset married Eliza Jane Lord. They 
lived a most happy life for forty-seven years. They had 
eleven children, of whom five survive. Some time after her 
death he married Catherine M. Kennedy. They had no 

Dr. DeRosset, in all public and private relations, was ap- 
proached in excellence by few and excelled by none. 

The following paraphrase of the Lord's Prayer was written 
by Dr. Armand J. DeRosset in 1889, he being in his eighty- 
third year: 

Father in Heaven, to Thee we pray 

That Thy great Name may hallowed be, 
Thy kingdom come — Oh! haste the day 

When all the world shall bow to Thee, » 
When Thy blest will shall have full sway, 
And Earth, like Heaven, from sin be free. 

Jambs Sprunt Historical Monograph 68 

Sustain, Oh Lord! our bodies frail, 

Preserve our soul with bread of life. 
Forgive our sins, let us not fail 

Our foes to bless, and keep from strife. 

Whene'er the tempter's wiles assail 

Do Thou be near, and keep us pure. 
May Thy good Spirit never fail 

To be our gfuide for evermore. 

Glory — Power to Thee belong, 

In Thy dread presence we appear, 
Only in the Name of Christ Thy Son, 

who taught us to make our prayer. 

September 18th, 1889. 




HISTORICAL NOTE, by Samuel A. Asbe. 

As soon as the North Carolina Colony had gained repose 
after the subjug^ation of the Indians and the removal of the 
Tuscaroras to New York, there was a considerable influx of 
population and the lands along the Neuse and adjacent to the 
sounds were measurably occupied. Perhaps to keep the Col- 
ony compact, the Lords Proprietors directed that no settle- 
ment should be made within twenty miles of the Cape Fear 
river. But in 1725 Governor Burrington, disregarding these 
orders, explored the Cape Fear and opened lands there to 
entry; and shortly afterward, Maurice Moore laid out a town 
on the west side of that river about fifteen miles from its 
mouth, which he called **Brunswick," and invited settlers to 
locate there. Shortly afterwards, iCornelius Harnett, who 
had disappeared from his Albemarle home in 1726, established 
a ferry at a haul-over opposite Brunswick, and this ferry was 
sanctioned and legalized by the General Court held in Eiden- 
ton in March 1727, since there was no other authority having 
jurisdiction over the Cape Fear region. It was about that 
time that many other settlers hastened to take up the best 
lands on the Cape Fear River and its branches. 

In November 1729, Brunswick was incorporated and made 
the County Seat of the new precinct called **New Hanover," 
and the election of vestrymen for St. James Parish was di- 
rected to be held there. During Burrington's second term, 
John Maultsby entered 640 acres opposite the confluence of 
the two branches of the Cape Fear; but at that time what is 
now called **Clarendon River" was considered to be the North- 

1 Father of Oomelius Hamet of the Revolution.— K. P. B. 

Jambs Sprunt Hutorioal Monograph 06 

west Branch. John Watson at the same time entered 640 
acres adjoining* Maultsby's and extending down the river, but 
it was not until some two 3'ears later, in 1735, after Governor 
Johnston had come over, that patents were issued for these 
entries. Jn the meantime, a few settlers had located on 
Maultsbj's entry and called their settlement '*New Liver- 
pool." But in March or April 1733, Michael Hig-gfines and 
Joshua Granger purchased from Watson 50 acres of land, 
being in the central portion of it and fronting about one 
fourth of a mile on the river, and James Wimble bought all 
the lower part; and immediately following, Watson and Wim- 
ble and Granger and Higgines agreed to establish a town on 
their lands; and they accordingly laid out Market St. and 
Front St., being the present streets bearing those names in 
Wilmington, and ran other streets parallel with them; and 
their town was called **Newton" or '*New Town." Hardly 
had the new town been begun before the superior advantages 
of its situation became evident, and there arose conflicting 
interest between it and the older settlement at Brunswick. 

Governor Johnston, who took the oaths of office in Novem- 
ber 1734, being informed that Brunswick was unhealthy, and 
having no interest there, purchased lands adjacent to Newton 
^nd became an ardent advocate of making that village the 
commercial, business and political centre of the Cape Fear 
section. In this he was opposed by those gentlemen who had 
already established themselves at Brunswick and who hoped 
that their fortunes were to be increased by its future growth 
and prosperity. But the Governor was so assured of the 
superiority of the Newton site that he paid slight attention 
to their wishes, and within three months after his induction 
into office, he began actively to advance Newton at the ex- 
pense of Brunswick. Doubtless it was with his concurrence 
that on March 6, 1735, there was presented to the Council a 
petition from the inhabitants and others about Newton, 
praying **that the said place may be made a town by the 

name of , provided that the inhabitants thereof do 

within two years from date hereof, build and erect six brick 

56 Thk Univbzsitt Reoord 

houses in the principal streets, of forty feet long and 30 feet 
deep;" but the Council, not having the necessary powers, took 
no action and the subject of incorporating the town was 
brought before the next General Assembly, which met at 
Newbern in 1736. At that time, a bill to incorporate the 
town under the name of Wilmington was proposed in the 
upper house; but seems to have failed. It appears from it 
that the Governor had thus early designed to bestow on the 
town the name of **Wilmington," to compliment his patron, 
Sir Spencer Compton, then Earl of Wilmington, a nobleman 
of great worth, abilities and integrity, who for many years 
occupied a high position at Court, and was soon to be Prime 
Minister. One of the provisions of that bill directed the 
establishment of a court house at Newton and the holding of 
a court there. Indeed, in March I7v35, the Governor had been 
pleased to appoint a court of Exchequer, which was, '*to be 
opened and held at Newton (m the northeast branch of the 
Cape Fear River on the 13th of May following," and at the 
same time, he issued a proclamation reciting that as no court 
of Oyer and Terminer had as yet been held on the Cape Fear 
River, he appointed a court to be held at Newton on the north- 
east branch of the Cape Fear, on the 13th of May, 1735; and 
he also appointed Newton, as the place for collecting and re- 
ceiving quit-rents, and on the 13th day of May he held a Coun- 
cil at Newton, and after that other Councils met there. The 
Legislature, however, seems not to have incorporated the 
town until 1740, although in 1736 it enacted that the quit- 
rents for Onslow and New Hanover should be paid at Newton; 
and in the fall of that year, Governor Johnston appointed 
James Murray Naval Officer, and directed him to open his 
office at Newton, thus practically closing the port of Bruns- 
wick. At length in February 1740, the Governor was able 
to carry his point, and a bill was passed incorporating the 
town under the name of Wilmington. But in the Council only 
eight members being present, there were four votes for it and 
four votes against it, and the presiding Councillor, Chief- Jus- 

Jambs Sprunt Historical Monograph 67 

tice Smith, having alrea<ly once voted for it, making the tie, 
as presiding OflScor gave a second vote to break the tie, thus 
passing the bill through the Council. The friends of Bruns- 
wick were not content to be overreached in that way, and 
quite a controversy arose as to the legality of an act passed 
by one Councillor giving two votes. 

Section First of the act recites: '*That, whereas several 
merchants, tradesmen, artificers and other persons of good 
substance have settled themselves at a village called Newton, 
lying on the east branch of the Cape Fear River, and whereas, 
the said village by reason of its convenient situation at the 
meeting of the two great branches of the Cape Fear River, 
and likewise by reason of the depth of water capable of receiv- 
ing vessels of considerable burden, because of the safety of 
its roads beyond any other part of the river and the secure 
and easy access from all ]>artsof the different branches of the 
said river, is upon all those and many other accounts, more 
proper for being erected into a town or township than any 
other part of the said river," — therefore, the Legislature pro- 
ceeded to '*erect it into a town and township by the name of 
Wilmington," with the privilege of choosing one representa- 
tive to sit in the Cieneral Assembly; and the persons entitled 
to vote for said representative were limited to **every tenant 
of any brick, st(me or frame habitable house of the length of 
twenty feet and sixteen feet wide within said town, and other 
persons who were actually in possession or an inhabitant of 
a brick house of the length of thirty feet and sixteen feet wide 
within the bounds of said town upwards and Smith's Creek;" 
and it was further enacted **that no person should be deemed 
qualified to be a Representative of said town to sit in the 
General Assembly, unless he was seizin of a brick, stone or 
frame house with one or more brick chimneys, the house to be 
of the dimensions aforesaid;" and the following persons were 
appointed commissioners for the said town: James Murray, 
Robert Halton, Samuel Woodard, William Farris, Richard 
Eagles, John Porter and Robert Walker. 

58 Thb Uniybrsity Rboord 

The Governor \^ as very much elated at his success in htLving* 
this bill passed, but the controversy about the manner of its 
passing throuijb the Council became so great that at its next 
session, the Legislature found it expedient to pass a second 
act '^because of the disputes which raised doubts and much 
perplexed the minds of several of the inhabitants of the said 
county of New Hanover." In this act it is provided that the 
election of the vestrymen for the Parish of St. James in New 
Hanover County and all other public elections for the said 
County of New Hanover and for the said Parish called *'St. 
James Parish," shall be held and made in the town of Wil- 
mington. Prior to that, under an act of 1729, these elections 
had been held at Brunswick, and these acts were death-blows 
to Brunswick, and resulted in the complete victory for the 
Governor and the New Town over those who had settled at 
Brunswick. Wilmington at once became the metropolis of 
the Cape Fear region. 


We have before us the records of the Commissioners' meet- 
ings of the town of Wilmington, beginning in April 1743, the 
following being extracts: 

** Wilmington, April 5, 1743. 

The Freeholders met at the Court House in pursui^nce of 
an act of the Assembly to elect i)roper persons to be returned 
to His Excellency, the Governor, to serve as Commissioners 
for the ensuing year; when on closing the poll, the five fol- 
lowing had a majority of votes, viz.: James Campbell, Rufus 
Marsden, James Small wood, Richard Hellier and Arm^nd De 
Rosset; and return whereof, was made to His Excellency, the 

Wilmington, April 27, 1743. 

A general meeting of the inhabitants and freeholders of 
Wilmington in order to concert measures for laying;" out the 
streets of the said town in a more exact manner, is desired 
by the subscribers to meet at the Court House on Monday, the 
9th day of May next, at 10 o'clock in the morning. 

Signed: William Harris, Richard Hellier, Samuel Green, 
James Campbell, Rufus Marsden and John Maultsby, Jr." 

Jambs Sprunt Historical Monooraph 59 

In pursuance to the above at the time and place there men- 
tioned, the greatest part of the freeholders and inhabitants 
met andcame to the following resolution, viz: **Whereas, we, 
the subscribers, freeholders and inhabitants of the town of 
Wilmingion, have taken into consideration the many incon- 
veniences and hardships inhabitants of the said town suffered 
by reason that the bounds of the lots and streets thereof are 
not duly ascertained, and in order to come to the knowledge 
of the original survey of the said town, have desired the favor 
of Michael Higgines, one of the original Proprietors, to de- 
clare, and he has declared before a Magistrate upon oath 
what he knows of the original survey and the said declara- 
tion or aflSdavit of Mr. Higgines, seems to locate to our satis- 
faction the place where the said survey was begun together 
with the courses and manner of carrying it on, we have 
resolved and do hereby resolve that Mr. William Faris, Mr. 
Rufus Marsden, and Mr. Thomas Clarke shall be empowered 
as Commissioners to agree with a proper Surveyor and neces- 
sary assistants, to re-survey the streets of the said town, and 
fix proper stakes or posts at convenient places and to defray 
the charges of the premises, we, the said subscribers, do 
hereby promise to pay Mr. Thomas Clarke, or produce him 
the Surveyor's Receipt for the sums opposite our respective 
names, within ten days after the said town shall be surveyed, 
pursuant to the agreement to be made by the Commissioners 
aforesaid; and that the said re-survey may be agreed for and 
made on the terms and in the manner that shall be most 
agreeable to the freeholders of the said town, it is the inten- 
tion of^us, the subscribers, and accordingly resolved, that the 
Commissioners aforesaid shall not make the agreement for 
the re-survey, but have three days notice fixed at the Court 
House of the time and place appointed for making such agree- 
ment, which shall not be made without the consent of the 
freeholders aforesaid, being subscribers hereto, or the major- 
ity of them then and there present. 

William Faris 
James Murray 
Thomas Clarke 

Wilmington, N. C, May 9, 1743 
25 pounds currency. 
10 *' 
10 ** 

William Norton 


(4 «4 

Rufus Marsden 


** lOs *' 

Phillip David 
Richard Hellier 



The Uniybrsitt Rboobd 

Thomas James 
Joshua Granger 
John Maultsby 
Caleb Granger by Wm. Paris 
Thomas Hedges 
Francis Veale 
♦Robert Walker 
Daniel Dunbibin 
James Smallwood 
Morgan Morgan 
Hugh Blanning 
Samuel Cain 
Nicholas Fox 
John Wright 
John Watson 
John Squires 
James Campbell 
Magnus Cowan 
Daniel Love . 
William Birnie 

S pounds currency. 

8 *' 

10 ** 

20 ^* 

5 ** 

10 *' 

10 *' 

5 ** 

5 '' 

5 ** . 

5 ** 

5 '' 

5 *' 

10 ** 

3 '' 

5 ** 

3 ** 10s 

5 ** 

5 ** 

7 ** 

. ^5 - 

* Robert Walker and his wife Ann Montgomery Walker 
are said to have come from Ireland in 173(). Their daughter 
Margaret married Dr. Armand De Rosset, who came to New 
Liverpool in 1775. 

The deposition of Michael Higgines relating to the former 
survey of the town is as follows: 

North Carolina, New Hanover County, 

Michael Higgines, late of the town of Wilmington, Ordi- 
nary Keeper, at the request of many of the inhabitants and 
freeholders of the said town, maketh oath that in the year of 
our Lord 1733, John Watson, planter, was possessed of 
a tract of land containing 640 acres by virtue of a warrant 
from Governor Burrington, beginning at John Maultsby's 
line to Col. Halton's line, then along his line south to the 
corner thereof and thence several courses down the northeast 
branch of the Cape Fear River; that in March or April 1733, 
he, this deponent, and Joshua Granger, Sr. bought of the 
said John Watson fifty acres, part of the said tract of land, 
beginning at a tree which then grew in a hollow where Wil- 
liam Fans' tar house now stands, fronting down the river 

Jambs Spbumt Historical MonoqUaph 61 

near a quarter of a mile, and running- back for the compli- 
ment; that on or about the said month of April, James Wim- 
ble, Mariner, boufifht of the said John Watson the remaining 
part of the said tract that was below the land purchased by 
this deponent and Mr. Granger; and this said tract was 
divided between John Watson, (who still continued to possess 
the other upper part of it,) this deponent, Joshua Granger 
and James Wimble. And the said John Watson, this depon- 
ent, Joshua Granger and James Wimble, in the month of 
April or thereabouts, entered into an agreement to lay out 
part of the said tract of land into lots and streets for a town, 
and to fix a centre in the Market St. where the town house 
now stands, and the same was accordingly laid out, on or 
about the said month of April, by William Gray, Surveyor, 
in the following manner, viz: **Beginning at a place where 

now lies the threshold of the north door next to the 

house, now possessed by Hugh Blanning, thence running 
northwest three poles, which station was agreed and fixed 
upon by us, said place to be the middle of Market Street afore- 
said, and as the course of the said street was a half point 
north and this deponent having now reviewed the front street 
of the said town, saith: *That he verily believes that post 
standing in the northeast corner of the yard posessedby Hugh 
Blanning, is exactly in the western line of Front Street, 
which street was run at right angle with Market St. of the 
width of four poles and all the other streets in the bounds of 
the then intended town were laid out four poles wide, and 
were exactly parallel either to Front Street or Market Street 
before ascertained, and that all the lots aforesaid were of the 
length of 20 poles with a breadth of four poles except the 
water lots, which were likewise four poles wide down to a low 
watermark.' And this deponent further saith: *That when 
the said Surveyor, running along Front Street, went down 
steep or declining places, he ordered the chief chain-bearer 
to hold up the chain and the other one to hold down the chain 
and to the contrary in going up; in order and with the inten- 
tion that all the lots might be of equal breadth,' further saith 

Sworn and subscribed by Michael Higgines on the 9th of 
May, 1743 before me. 

Ja. Murray, J. P.' '' 

Wilmington, May 30, 1743. 
Agreeable to an advertisement put up at the Court House 

62 The Univerbity Rboord 

on the 24th of this instant, May, in pursuance of the agree- 
ment made by the inhabitants of Wilmingfton, bearing date 
the 9th of this instant, wherein, it was agreed and resolved 
that public notice should be given three days at least to treat 
with the proper Surveyor to run out the streets of the said 
town. Accordingly, we, the freeholders present, do resolve 
that Jeremiah Vail, do as soon as conveniently may be, 
re-survey the streets of the town agreeable to the oath of 
Michael Higgines, and that the said Surveyor be upon oath 
to do the same justly and truly without fraud, and in consid- 
eration of which, he shall receive out of the subscription 
money 150 pounds. 

Ordered that the squares of the said town be staked out at 
every corner of each square at the charge of the said town 
and that the chain-bearers be upon oath to carry the chains 
justly and truly and that the commissioners do agree with 
proper persons to carry the chains and provide the stakes: 
Signed: Rufus Marsden, William Norton, Thomas Clarke, 
Francis Veale, David Lindsay, Phillip David, Richard Hel- 
lier, James Smallwood, Ja. Campbell, Daniel Dunbibin, Sam- 
uel Green, Thomas James, William White, John Squier, John 
Wright, William Birnie, Thomas Hedges, Magnus Cowan, 
Morgan Morgan. 

The deposition of the Surveyor and chain-carriers appointed 
to re-survey the town of Wilmington, namely: ''Whereas^ 
freeholders of the town of Wilmington, have for the better 
ascertaining of the several lots and streets, resolved and 
agreed to cause the said town to be re-surveyed agreeable to 
the original survey, therefore, the beginning of which survey 
together with the courses and breadth and length of the 
streets and lots appears by the affidavit of Michael Higgines, 
taken before James Murray, Esq., the 9th of May 1743, as 
well as by a plan now extant of the said town, and whereas, 
William Paris, Thomas Clarke, Esq., and Rufus Marsden, 
the commissioners appointed by the said freeholders, have 
with thf^ir consent agreed with us, we the said Jeremiah Veal, 
Survey Richard Hellier, and William White maketh oath that 
we will faithfully do our duty respectively in the premises, in 
beginning and carrying on the said survey, observing the 
method directed by the affidavit of the said Michael Higgines 
the former plan of the town, and the instructions of the said 
commissioners not repugnant to the said affidavit and plan. 
Sworn 7th of June 1743 before me; James Murray. Signed: 
Jeremiah Veal, Richard Hellier and William White." 

JAMB8 Sprunt Historical Monograph 68 

Wilminjrton, July 12, 1743. 

Pursuant to an advertisement put up at the town house, 
bearing- date the 8th day of this instance; signed, William 
Farts and Rufus Marsden, two of the commissioners ap- 
pointed, desiring inhabitants of the said town to meet on the 
said 12th of this instance at 3 of the clock; according-ly, we, 
the freeholders of the said town have met and agreed that 
the Assembly of this province be petitioned to pass an act to 
establish the town of Wilraing-ton according to a survey made 
at the request and with the consent of the freeholders, sig'ned 
by the said freeholders May 30, 1743, and that a clause in the 
said act be, that all houses now built may stand the term of 
21 years from the passing of the said act." 

[Thereupon, the act of 1745, (being Chapter 10, Pag-e 204, 
Swan's Collections of Laws of North Carolina) was passed, 
establishing the survey, as made by Jeremiah Veal under the 
direction of the freeholders of the town. Editor.] 

Wilmington, November 30, 1745. 

At a meeting of the commissioners, present, William Faris, 
Ja. Campbell, Rufus Marsden, Joshua Granger, who qualified 
themselves as commissioners for the town of Wilming"ton pur- 
suant to the act of the Assembly an^i also took the State 
oaths appointed to be taken b}- all public officers and sub- 
scribed to the test. Thomas Turney came and qualified him- 
self as commissioner of the aforesaid in like manner: **Re- 
solved, that Richard Hellier be appointed Town Clerk. 
Agreed that the market for the said town be kept under the 
town house for the present, until proper shambles be built; 
and for the better regulating of the market, it is resolved that 
all beef, veal, mutton, venison or pork intended for sale be 
brought to the said market place and there exposed to sale 
from the first of October to the first of April tor two hours, 
and from the first of April to the first of October yearly, one 
hour, before the owner be at liberty to sell the same at whole- 
sale, so as all forestallers of the market be discovered, and 
the inhabitants be supplied at first hand." 

Ja. Smallwood, praying to have the liberty of building a 
piazza or shade at the front of his house not exceeding 6 feet 
in breadth and to remain only during the time being at the 
pleasure of the commissioners; the same is accordingly 
granted. Resolved, that the commissioners do meet at the 
Court House on Saturday next to hear any complaint and to 
settle the affairs of the town. 

64 Thb Uniybrsity Rboobd 

At a meeting of the commissioners June 23, 1747. Or- 
dered: "That all male taxables in the town meet at the Court 
House on Monday 29th by 6 o'clock in the morning with 
proper tools to work on the streets and bridges six whole 
days, provided the work requires so long a time, and that a 
warrant be issued to the constable to summons all masters and 
mistresses of families to send their taxables at that time and 

At a meeting of the commissioners April 25, 1748. Or- 
dered: **That whereas, the inhabitants have no other signal 
for an alarum in case of invasion by our public enemies, to 
invert this course by beating a drum. That no persoo pre- 
sume to beat the same after sunset unless commanded by law- 
ful authority, and that public notice be fixed at the market- 

At a meeting of the commissioners August 18, 1749. Or- 
dered: *'That an advertisement be put at the Court House, 
requiring the inhabitants to meet on Thursday morning at 
the Court House by 6 o' the clock, to work on the streets and 
to bring with them neccessary tools for that purpose. 

Whereas, James Small wood, one of the commissioners 
elected, is dead, it is therefore desired that the freeholders 
meet at the Court House on the 19th inst. and choose another 
in his stead. 

Whereas, Moses John De Rosset hath made complaint that 
Ja. Campbell refuses to move his house where the billard 
table is from off his land. Ordered: that the said Ja. Camp- 
bell have notice of such complaint and give in his answer at 
next meeting. Ordered: That the necessity of buckets and 
ladders for extinguishing all fire, be taken into consideration 
at the next public meeting. Ordered: That every person 
whose chimney is not built 3 feet above the ridge or highest 
part of their house, do raise the same to that height within 
four months, under the penalty of 10s. proclamation for 
every default to be applied towards buying their buckets and 
ladders by the commissioners for the time being.'* 

August 19, 1749. 

Ordered: **That the dock be made 26 feet wide in the exact 

middle of Dock Street, that is to say 20 feet from the side 

where Thomas Turney lives and 20 feet from the side of the 

street where William Veal's houses are, according to a new 

Jambs Sprumt Historical Monoobaph 66 

fdan annexed to the act of the Assembly, entitled: 'An act 
or better regfulating the town of Wilmington.' " 

At a meeting of the commissioners held February 28, 1749. 
Present: Ja. Murray, William Faris, Caleb Granger. Mr. 
Rutherford, going to Europe, desired to be excused from 
qualifying as a commissioner, and commended Magnus 
Cowan in his room. The commissioners accordingly elected 
Mr. Magnus Cowan in the room of Mr. Rutherford, and he 
came and took the oath ol a commissioner. For summoning 
the inhabitants of the towns, several of which attended, 
agreed that a tax of Is. ()d. proclamation on each taxable by 
the SheriflF the present year for purchasing five ladders and 
leather buckets. Agreed, that Mrs. Clay be paid 1 pound 
proclamation quarterly for her care in sweeping the Court 
House each Saturday in every week, keeping the windows 
shut and twice a week to sweep the floor. 

August 14, 1750. 
The freeholders met in order to choose two commissioners 
in room of Ja. Murray, Esq., and Mr. Caleb Granger, who 
have left the province, and first they chose William Faris, 
Esq., and Dr. Isaac Faris to hold a pole, then on closing it, 
there appeared a majority of votes for Cornelius Harnett and 
Lewis De Rosset, and on August 15th Cornelius Harnett and 
Lewis De Rosset appeared before William Faris and took the 
usual oaths as commissioners for the town of Wilmington, and 
on September 25, 1750, the freeholders met in order to choose 
a commissioner in the room of William Faris, Esq., who had 
left the province, and they chose John Lyon. 

Wilmington, Jan. 1, 1750. 
A majority of the inhabitants having agreed to a tax of Is. 
and 6d. proclamation per head to be levied on every male tax- 
able for buying water buckets, ladders and everything neces- 
sary towards extinguishing fire, it is hereby ordered that 
warrants be issued out to the constable for levying the same. 
The tax laid on the inhabitants were paid to John Du Bois 
amounted to 9 pounds, 15s., out of which he has paid, as by 
the receipts in his possession will show, as follows: 
Caleb Mason for 4 ladders 2 pounds. 

Magnus Cowan for 16 

leather buckets 7 ** 9s, 4d. 
Cornelius Harnet for ropes 

for buckets 5s, 8d. 

*Poll is invariably spelt pole. 5 

to I'HB Univbrcity Heoord 

Magnus Cowan delivered for use of the town, four leather 
buckets more, for which he is to be paid by the commissioners 
out of the next year's tax at the rate of 9s. proclamation 
money each. 

June 24, 1751. 

The freeholders of Wilming-ton met to choose a commis- 
sioner in the room of Capt. John Du Bois and John Rutherford 
was duly elected. 

July 1, 1751. 

Moses John De Rosset heretofore applied to the commis- 
sioners for liberty to build a porch to his house on the street, 
which was granted, but omitted to be entered, therefore, it is 
now ordered to be entered. 

Dec. 31, 1751. 

Agreed with Mrs. Clay to sweep the Court House above and 
below, keeping the windows shut, ringing the bells on neces- 
sary occasions for one year to commence from to-morrow, for 
which, she is to be paid the sum of 5 pounds proclamation out 
of the ensuing year's tax. A majority of the inhabitants 
having agreed to a tax of Is. and 6d. to be levied on the male 
taxables for paying Mrs. Clay for sweeping and having care 
of the Court House, and the remainder towards purchasing a 
water engine. 

Mar. 17, 1752. 

Whereas, several chimneys have taken fire lately to the 
great hazard of the inhabitants of said town; resolved: To 
levy a fine of 20s. proclamation on the inhabitant of every 
such house without admitting of any excuse whatever. One 
half to the informer and the other half to the use of the town. 
Resolved: That any person making use of the public ladders 
unless in rase of fire or for the convenience of sweeping of 
chimneys and in this last case, not without the consent of the 
majority of the commissioners, that such persons so offending 
shall forfeit the sum of 10s. proclamation money for the 

Apr. 14, 1752. 

Whereas, we are informed that sundry dogs have been and 
are infected with madness within the bounds of this town to 
the great hazzard of the inhabitants, and it is therefore 
ordered that every owner of dog or dogs within sa,id town, 
shall immediately order such to be chained or confined in a 
proper inclosure until the 5th of May next, to prevent any 
bad consequence that may ensue by running at large, under 

Jambb Sprunt Historioal Monograph 07 

the penalty of 40s. proclamation money, besides a penalty 
occurring" from the Court of assize, and we hereby give full 
liberty to any person or persons whatsoever, to kill and destroy 
any dog or dog's going at large within said town after the 
iSth inst., until May aforesaid. 

Issued warrants to the constable for summoning all the 
male taxables to work on the streets on Monday 27th inst. 
until the 3d of May inclusive. 

Whereas, we have issued warrants to the constables to sum- 
mon the male taxables of this town to work on the market. 
Therefore, on the 27th inst. it is ordered that any person con- 
cerned in the lumber, pitch, tar or turpentine now lying ready 
to be landed at said landing, shall have it cleared away by the 
25th inst. It is ordered that one dozen of good substantial 
wheelbarrows be purchased for the use of the town out of the 
money now in the hands of Moses John DeRosset. 

January 1, 1753. 
The freeholders met to choose commissioners for the ensuing 
year. It was agreed that Mr. William Kobinson should take 
the pole, when on closing it, there appeared a majority of 
votes for John Lyon, Esq., Moses John DeRosset, Joshua 
Toomer, John Maultsby and Sam (Treen, who thereupon were 
declared duly elected and are hereby returned as such. Wil- 
liam Robinson and a majority of the inhabitants have agreed 
to a tax, Is. proclamation money, to be levied on the male 
taxables for paying a person for sweeping- and taking care of 
tKe Court House and the remainder towards purchasing a 
water engine. Sig^ned: Sam Green, Joshua Toomer, Moses 
John DeKosset. 

At a meeting of the commissioners December 6, 1753, at 
which time a warrant was issued to Ja. Arlow, Constable, to 
summons all the male taxables in Wilmington to be and 
appear under the Court House on Tuesday the 18th inst. at 
6 o'clock in the morning with proper tools to work on the 
streets three successive days. 

Jan. 1, 1754. 
The freeholders met to choose commissioners for the 
ensuing year, and agreed that Mr. William Robinson should 
take the pole, when on closing it there appeared a majority of 
votes for Cornelius Harnett, Esq., John Du Bois, John Lyon, 
Et:q., Mr. John Merritt and Mr. Moses John De Rossett. 

68 Thb UmviRsnT Rbgobd 

Maj^ 1, 1754. 
Frederick Greg-g made application to the commissioners to 
settle ground of a house belonging to Ja. Murray Esq., part 
of which being upon the said Gregg's land, viz: 3 feet four 
inches at the east end, and three feet 10 inches west end. 
Ordered: That the said Ja. Milrray do pay to the said F. R. 
Gregg a yearly ground rent 7s. 6d. proclamation money. 
Ordered: That all the male taxables be summoned to work 
on the streets from Monday the 17th of next month to Thurs- 
day 20th inclusive. 

At a meeting of the commissioners the 21st of November 
1754. Whereas, several chimneys in the town have lately 
taken fire from the want of being kept clean to the great haz- 
zard of the inhabitants. Ordered: That from and after the 
23rd of this inst., every person inhabiting a house in said 
town, shall cause the chimney to be swept clean from top to 
bottom once every 14 days, and for failure thereof any person 
whose chimney should take fire after the day above men- 
tioned, shall forfeit and pay the sum of 20s. proclamation 
money. Ordered: That any person who should hereafter 
have occasion for one of the town ladders to sweep their chim- 
neys, shall first acquaint one of the commissioners therewith, 
and shall return the same to the Court House in three hours 
after giving such notice to said commissioner under a penalty 
of 5s. proclamation money for every such offense, and that no 
person shall presume to take any or either of the said town's 
ladders for any other purpose whatsoever under the penalty 

Jan. 28, 1755. 

It was unanimously agreed to lay a tax on all houses pur- 
suant to a law passed the 19th of February 1754 to purchase a 
water engine or engines, buckets, etc., when the commis- 
sioners proceeded to value every house in the said town and 
laid a tax on the owners according to the following valuation 
after the rate of 1 per cent, and ordered that an advertisement 
be set up requiring the several persons therein taxed to pa}' 
the same to Mr. Arthur Mabson within two months from this 

John Maultsby's houses valued at 150 pounds. 

Thomas Nose 50 ** 

Joseph Mott 15 

Gabriel Wayne 25 

Jambs Spbunt Historical Monogbaph 69 

Mag-nus Cowan 

SO pounds. 

Frederick Gregg 



John McKenzie 



David Lindsey 


» k 

Hugh Murray 



John Rutherford 



John Murray 



Dr. Samuel Green 


i i 

Arthur Mabson 



Ann Wright 
William Faris 





Alice Marsden 



Ja. Arlow 



George Moore 



John DuBois 



William Veal 



Thomas Finny 



Thomas Cunningham 



John Cook 



John Walker 



Annabella McVicar 



John Smith ^ 



John Lyon 



Ann Cowan 



Caleb Mason 



Joshua Granger 



Charles Harrison 


i i 

Richard Hellier. 



John Walker Tayt 


t i 

Hugh Purdie 



Benjamin Wheatley 



Alexander Mackey 



Alexander McKeithein 


i i 

David David 



Thomas James 



Joshua Toomer 



Mary Powington 



Lewis De Rossett 


i i 

Ann Player 



Rose Long 



John Campbell 



David Brown 


. i i 

William Dry 



Armand De Rossett 


i i 


Thb Univbrsitt Rscord 

Thomas Newton 

25 pounds. 

Marg^aret White 



Daniel Dunbibin 



John Simpson 



Cornelius Harnet 


t 4 

Moses John De Rossett 



Alexander Blythe 


t k 

Ja. Campbell 



Ann Walker 


1 i 

Ja. Murray 



Viavp ^€*nf hv PornpliuR TTarnpf 


- Rsn.- to vftii 

17, 1755. 

ftO rmiindj^ 


proclamation money, which after paying you at the rate of 20 
per cent, advance is equal to 37 pounds 10s. sterlings money, 
which you will please lay out in the best manner for one 
water eng^ine for the use of the town of Wilmington, the 
quality of which, we entirely leave to yourself and for your 
best information as well as your best care and speediest 
method of bringing it or sending for it. 
We wish you a prosperous voyage, and are, 

Your most obedient humble servants. 
Signed: Fred Gregg, 

John Walker, 
John Maulsby, Jr. 
To Capt. Benjamin Heron. 

At a meeting of the commissioners the 

3()th of 


1755. A list of taxable for the 

year 1755: 

Alexander Mackey 

2 taxables. 

John Rutherford 

10 •* 

Cornelius Harnett 


Ann Cowan 


Marmaduke Jones 


Joseph Mott 
Robert Burleigh 
David Brown 


Walter Simpson 
Hugh Murray 
Louis De Rossett 


J a. Gregory 

Dr. Cosmos Farquharson 

Alexander Blythe 

Jambs Sprunt Historioal Monograph 


Frederick Gregg 

3 taxal 

Alexander McCallister 


John Maultsby 


Judith Davis 

Zachariah Weeks 

David David 

John Roe 

John Du Bois 


Richard Player 

Sam Green 

Thomas Newton 

John Eide 

Anthony Ward 

Williani McKenzie. 

Caleb Mason 

Magnus Cowan 

Thomas Cunningham 

John Lyon 

Malcolm Smith 

Joseph Geary 

Alice Marsden 

Anthony Du Bois 

Isaac Paris 

Joseph Toomer 

Ja. Campbell 

Benjamin Morrison 

William Thompson 

William Wilkins 




106 taxables at Is. 6d. is 7 pounds 19s. 

John Du Bois, Cornelius Harnet and David Brown having 
produced certificates, for work on the Point Road to Mt. 
Misery, as makes up their deficiencies, the same were allowed 
and approved of. 

Received of Ja. Arlow 10s. by his own information that his 
chimney was on fire. 

Ordered: That a warrant be issued against Benjamin 
Morrison and Ja. (Gregory for their chimneys taking fire. 

The town receipts for the year 1755, 93 pounds, 9s. 4d. 
Balance in the hands of John Maultsby and Arthur Mabson, 
22 pounds, 17s. and 6d. 

73 The Universitt Reoord 

Jan. 24, 1756. 
Inhabitants being: summoned at a meeting- at the Court 
House unanimously agreed to a tax of Is. and 6d. proclama- 
tion money to be levied on all the male taxables to pay a per- 
son for sweeping and takingf care of the market house, and 
the remainder to be applied to insuring the eng-ine from 

Capt. Benjamin Heron. Wilmington, Feb. 11, 1756. 

Sir- — We must beg the favor of you to write to your brother 
for insurance of the town engine and that he will forward it 
by the first opportunity, for this place. Whatever the charge 
may be, you shall be reimbursed with a reasonable advance, 
and the same acknowledg-ed as a favor done the public. 
We are Sir, Your humble servants, 

Daniel Dunbibin. 
Frederick Gregg. 
Arthur Mabson. 
P. S. If any opportunity besides offering, must beg you to 
write to get the insurance done on the engine sent out. 

March 26, 1756. 
Ordered: That the inhabitants of the town will meet the 
commissioners at the market house on Wednesday, 31st inst. 
to consult on such matters as may be necessary for the good 
of the town. Notice to be given by ringing the town bell. 

Signed: Frederick Gregg. 

Daniel Dunbibin. 
Cornelius Harnet. 
Thomas Finney. 

Whereas many accidents have lately happened by fire in 
the night, wherefore, we, the commissioners for the town, do 
hereby order and appoint that the following persons be sum- 
moned to watch this night in the said town to prevent further 
damage, and to secure what may be saved out of the ruins of 
the late fire under the directions of Mr. Thomas Finney, 
Commissioner, to be at the market house at 9 o'clock this 
evening under the penalty of 40s. each agreeable to law. 
Friday, May 7, 1756. * Caleb Mason. 

William Maultsby. 

Joseph Mott. 

Ja. Routlege. 

Robert Wiltbank. 

Nathaniel Sawier. 

Frejgrht from London to 

to South Carolina 




" from Charlestown 



Insurance at 20 per cent. 



20 per cent, advance on 76 pounds 



33J^ per cent, exchange 



Reduced to proclamation 



Jambs Sprunt Hktosical Monograph 78 

Nov. IS, 1756. 
Ordered: That all the inhabitants that have not worked 
this present year on the Point Road to meet at the market 
house with axes, hoes, spades, etc., to work from Monday 
next to Saturday nig-ht on the public streets and wharves of 
said town. 

Freig-ht bill to Capt. Benjamin Heron for 

a larg-e fire engine, casing", &c. 57 pounds, 2s. Ster. 


Daniel Dunbibin, Treasurer of the town in 1757 receives his 
54 pounds, 10s. 

May 24, 1758. 
It was unanimously agreed to lay a tax on all houses pur- 
suant to a law past the 13th of September, 1756 to purchasing 
fire hooks and paying the balance on engine due from the 
town, when the commissioners proceeded to value every house 
in the said town, and hold a tax on the owners according to 

the following valuation after the rate of 1 per cent. . 

John Maultsby's houses valued at 40 pounds. 
Thomas Nose 40 

Gabriel Wayne 20 

*Mason*s Lodg-e 140 ** 

Magnus Cowan 50 *' 

Frederick Gregg 225 

John McKenzie 300 

David Lindsey 100 

John Rutherford • 200 ** 

John Murray 240 

Samuel Green 250 

Arthur Mabson 400 

Ann Wright 150 

* Whether this means that Caleb Mason had premises known as Mason's 
Lodge, or whetlier the Masonic Order had a lodge is oncertain. It is com- 
monly said that the Masonic Lodge was organist at Finian, the home of 
WiUiam Hooper, at Masonboro, prior to the Revolution. Perhaps there 
was an earlier one at Wihnington. 

74 fHB University Rscord 

Alice Marsden 

500 pounds 

James Arlow 

50 * 

Georgce Moore 

150 * 

John Du Bois 

450 * 

William Veal 


John Kennedy 

25 * 

John Nesfield 

25 * 

William Bartram 

25 * 

William Robinson 


Jeremiah Keenan 

25 * 

Ja. Cunning-ham 

200 * 

John Walker 

60 * 

James Henderson 

50 * 

Marmaduke Jones 

50 * 

Annabella McVicar 


John Lyon 

225 * 

Ann Cowan 

40 * 

Caleb Mason 

160 * 

Charles Harrison 

50 ' 

J a. Campbell 

200 ' 

Hugfh Purdie 


Benjamin Wheatley 


Alexander McCoy 

60 * 

John Garem 


Alexander McKeithen 


Thomas James 


Mary Gallat 


Lewis De Rossett 

125 * 

Ann Player 

25 ' 

Rose Ross 

5 * 

John Campbell 


David Brown 


Armand De Rossett 


Thomas Newton 


Mary White 

100 * 

Daniel Dunbibin 

100 ' 

John Simpson 


Cornelius Harnet 

200 * 

Moses John De Rossett 


ClaA^son Blythe 


Ja. Campbell 

150 ' 

Jacob Miller 

80 * 

Anthony Ward 

200 ' 

Ja. Gregory 

150 * 

Jambs Sprunt Historical Monograph 75 

Walter Simpson 5 pounds 

John Corbyn 100 

Ralph Taylor ISO 

Williani Barnes 75 

July 26, 1759. 
Entered into an agreement with Mr. Alexander Duncan to 
keep the fire engine and hose in order and oyld, and to play it 
once a month, for which care, two of his family is exempt 
from working on the streets. 

On the 15th day of January 1760 the Governor, Arthur 
Dobbs, issued his letters patent in the name of George Second by 
the grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, 
Defender of the faith, etc., and constituting and erecting the 
town of Wilmington into a borough by the name of Wilming- 
ton, consisting of a Mayor, one person learned in law for 
bearing the office of Recorder*, and eleven Aldermen including 
the Mayor; with power for the freeholders of said Borough on 
the first Monday in January of every year, to elect and choose 
one of the Aldermen to be Mayor and with the ordinary 
powers of a Borough, when John Sampson was appointed the 
Mayor, Marmaduke Jones, Recorder, William Dry, Cornelius 
Harnet, John Lyon, Frederick Gregg, Caleb Granger, Daniel 
Dunbibin, Authur Mabson and Moses John De Rossett, 
Aldermen, who held their court on the 4th day of March, 
1760, and ordered '*that if any person would undertake to be a 
public chimney sweep for the town of Wilmington, that they 
would give in their proposals at the next Court and likewise, 
if any chimney caught afire before the said time, that the 
dweller in said house should pay 40s. proclamation." 

Note -Several limes each year all the taxables, with the able 
bodied men, black and white, of the town, were called out to 
work from 3 to 6 days at a time on the streets and wharfs 
and on the road from Pt. Peter to Mt. Misery. 

There was usually a long list of defaulters. In the July 
working 1760, the list is unusually short: wc copy it: Manna- 
duke Jones, John Jones, James Blythe, Alex. Ross, Jeremiah 
Keenan, William Purviance, William Brown, Robt. Walker, 

* Marmaduke Joues is said to have come to Wilmingtou from Jamaica; 
was the attorney -general of the province in the stamp act troubles and 
held that that law should be enforced. 

76 The U^avBRS^rY Rboord 

Robert Shaw, Malatiah Hamilton, Thos. Bevers, Henry Erly, 
Thos. Davis, Joshua Toomer, Wm. McDowell, John Quinie, 
Obediah Holt, *Th()mas Ciodfrey, Charles Appleby, Isaac Ray. 

Note-Thos. Godfrey was a son of the mathematician Godfrey, 
of Philadelphia, with whom Dr. Franklin boarded. Of him 
Dr. Franklin said: *'Amonfr the first members of our junta 
was Thomas Godfrey, a self taug^ht mathematician, y^reat in 
his way, and afterwards inventor of what is now called Had- 
ley's quadrant.'' The son was born in Philadelphia in 1736. 
When 22 years of ag-e he became a Lieutenant in the provin- 
cial troops raised for an expedition against Ft. Duquesne. 
When the troops were disbanded he came to Wilmington and 
established himself in business there, but unhappily died on 
Aug^ust 3, 17f>3 in the 27th year of his ag*e in consequence of 
violent exercise on a very warm day. 

He was gifted as a poet. His principal poem was *'The 
Court of Fancy.'' He was the author of the first American 
Drama **The Prince of Parthia." His poems were published 
in 1765 at Philadelphia. 

Jan. 3, 1763. 
The Mayor, Recorder and Aldermen together with the Free- 
holders, met at the Court House in Wilmington to vote and 
choose an Alderman in the room of Joshua Toomer, deceased, 
when Mr. William Campbell was chosen Alderman for the 
said Borough and qualified agreeable to the charter, and at 
the same time. Alderman Frederick Gregg was chose by a 
majority of votes to be Mayor and qualified for the same 
agreeable to the charter. 

Tuesday, Jan. 3, 1764. 
The freeholders met at the Court House in Wilmington to 
choose Commissioners for the said town for the ensuing year, 
whereas there appearest that Alexander Duncan, Esq., George 

* , William Campbell, Henry Toomer and Caleb Mason 

were chosen and thereupon declared duly elected and are here- 
by returned as such. 

On Monday the 7th of January in the year of our Lord, 

•Probably Greorge Moore. 

Jambs Sprunt Historical Monograph 77 

1765, the Mayor, Recorder, Aldermen and freeholders of the 
Borough of Wilming-ton met at the Court House therein in 
order to elect and choose a Mayor for^the present year and 
Alderman Frederick Gregg was chosen and accordingly de- 
clared duly elected. 

Note — It appears in this record of the proceedings, that be- 
ginning with January 1764, the charter creating Wilmington a 
Borough was ignored and commissioners were elected by the 
people of the town instead of a Mayor and Aldermen, but that 
in the following year, 1765, the Borough Charter was enforced 
when Frederick Gregg was elected Mayor. 

On Monday 29th day of January 1765, the Mayor, Alder- 
men and Freeholders of Wilmington convened in common 
council at the Court House therein. Present: The Worship- 
ful Frederick Gregg, Esq., Mayor, Cornelius Harnet, John 
Lyon, John Du Bois, Samuel Green, Moses John De Rosset, 
William Campbell, Esq., as Aldermen together with the free- 
holders, viz: John Corbin, Alexander Duncan, Archibald 
McClaine, John Burgwin, Anthony Ward, William Wilkinson, 
Ja. Morgan, Malatia Hamilton, Mortimor, Alex. Ross, Wil- 
liamMcKenzie, Benjamin Stone, Caleb Mason, Thomas Cun- 
ningham, David Brown, Magnus Cowan, Robert Wells, 
Robert McCrackin, Richard Player and Stephen Player: When 
the Goat Law was read with the amendments and passed and 
ordered to be ingrossed. Resolved: That the following rule 
be observed by the Mayor, Recorder, Aldermen and Freehold- 
ers in all debates: **That the party speaking, should not 
leave the subject in debate to fall upon the person of any 
member of the commoji Council or other person; and whereas 
great abuses are daily committed by mixing milk with water 
and other such mixtures and afterwards exposing such milk 
for sale in the said Borough, be it therefore ordained, etc." 
A negro law read and passed with amendments. It is re- 
olved and ordered that Cornelius Harnet, John Du Bois and 
John Burgwin, Esq. and Mr. Archibald McClaine, revise, cor- 
rect and alter the diction of the said negro law when neces- 
sary and that the same be engrossed. 

At a meeting of the Mayor, Recorder and Aldermen at the 
house of Mr. Hamilton on Saturday the 26th of October, 1765. 
Present: The Worshipful Frederick Gregg, Esq,, Mayor 
Marmaduke Jones, Esq., Recorder, etc. Ordered: That the 

78 Thb Umivkrsitt Rboord 

Town Clerk give notice to the freeholders to meet at the 
Court House on Wednesday next, the 30th of October to elect 
an Alderman in the room of Caleb Granjocer, deceased. 

Wednesday, October 30, 1768. 
The Mayor, Aldermen and Recorder together with the 
Freeholders of the Borough of Wilmington met at the Court 
House therein agreeable to the order and notice given to the 
same in order to appoint, elect and choose an Alderman duly 
qualified in the room of Alderman Caleb Granj^er, deceased: 
when John Burgwin, Anthony Ward and Caleb Mason, were 
candidates for Alderman, at the closing of the pole the num- 
ber of votes for each candidate stood thus: For 'John Bur- 
gwin 1 vote; for Anthony Ward 5 votes, and for Caleb Mason 
15 votes, and Caleb Mason wjis declared duly elected. 

On Monday the 6th day of January in the year of our Lord 
1766, the Mayor, Aldermen and Freeholders of the Borough 
of Wilmington met at the Court House therein in order to 
elect and choose a Mayor for the present year and Alderman 
Caleb Mason was declared duly elected Mayor for this present 

On Tuesday the 14th day of January 1766, at a meeting of 
the Aldermen of the Borough of Wilmington, when Caleb 
Mason, Esq., who having been chosen Mayor for the ensuing 
year and refusing to qualify for tlie same; begged leave to re- 
sign the said office, and resigned accordingly. The conse- 
quence of which resignatioti, the Alderman ordered that the 
Town Clerk give public notice to Recorder, the Alderman and 
the Freeholders of this Borough, that on Monday, the 20th 
day of this instant, January, to meet at the Court House 
therein, in order to elect a Mayor for the same in the room of 
Caleb Mason, Esq., resigned. 

On Monday, the 20th day of this instant, January, agree- 
able to the order of the board of Aldermen, the Alderman and 
Freeholders of the Borough of Wilmington met at the Court 
House therein, in order to elect and choose a Mayor for this 
present year instead of Alderman Caleb Mason, Esq., resigned. 
Present: John Sampson, John Lyon, Frederick Gregg, Cor- 
nelius Harnett, Arthur Mabson* William Campbell, Moses 
John De Rossett, Board of Aldermen: and John Burgwin, 
Thomas Cunningham, Samuel Marshall, Richard Player, 
Robert Wells, Stephen Player, Jeremiah Keenan, Robert Mc- 
Crackin, Alexander Ross, Henry Toomer and William Wilkin- 

Jambs Sprunt Historical Monograph 79 

son. At which time, Alderman Moses John De Rossett was 
chose Mayor by a majority of votes and was publicly declared 
as such, after which he took the State oaths and the oath of 
office, agreeable to the charter of said Borough. 

Note — As this was after the seizure of the merchant vessels 
under the Stamp Act, the refusal of Mason to qualify as May- 
or, and the election of De Rossett as Mayor, and the patriotic 
action of the Mayor and Aldermen in that matter seems to 
show that there was a particular purpose in substituting De 
Rosset for Mason as Mayor at this juncture. 

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 1760. 

Pursuant to the command of His Majesty's Writ of Election 
to the Mayor, Recorder and Aldermen of this Borough, to 
choose and elect a Representative of the same to sit and vote 
in the General Assembly of this province, I proceeded to take 
the pole, when Cornelius Harnet, Esq., was unanimously 
chosen to represent this Borough. 

Signed: Moses John De Rossett, Mayor. 

Monday, June 23, 1766. 
Pursuant to an order of the Worshipful Mayor at the Court 
House at the Borough of Wilmington at 9 o'clock in the fore- 
noon, the pole opened with the election of Recorder in the 
room of Marmaduke Jones, Esq., resigned, when William 
Hooper, Esq., was unanimously chosen Recorder of this Bor- 
ough and took the State oaths together with the oath of office 
and signed the test. 

(Note— Dr. E. A. Alderman in his fine sketch of William 
Hooper says he came to the Cape Fear in the fall of 1767. He 
seems to have come more than a year earlier.) 

Tuesday, Jan. 16, 1768. 
The Freeholders of the town of Wilmington met at the 
Court House to choose commissioners for the present year and 
Mr. Alexander Scott and Mr, John Walker was agreed to take 
the pole and on closing it, the following persons appeared to 
be chosen unanimously: Mr. Harnet, Mr. Lyon, Mr. William 
Campbell, Mr, Ward and Mr. Toomer. 

(Note — The Records between June 1766 and January 1768, 
does not appear in this volume, and in January 1768 the town 

80 Thb UNnrERSTTT Bboobd 

seems to have gone back to commissioners and the Borough 
Charter was disregarded.) 

Tuesda}', January 3, 1770. 
The Freeholders for the town of Wilmington met at the 
Court House to choose commissioners for the present year and 
Mr. Anthony Ward was agreed to take the pole and on clos- 
ing it, the following- persons appeared to have the greatest 
number of votes, viz: Cornelius Harnet, Frederick Gregg, 
Arthur Quince, William Wilkinson and John Robinson, and 
they were thereupon declared duly elected. 

Tuesday, Jan. 5, 1773. 

Ordered: That the Constables be summoned to show cause 

before the Commissioners on Monday next why they shall not 

be lined for not walking the streets and taking up the negroes 

on the streets according to the ordinances in such cases made. 

At the meeting of the commissioners on the first Monday in 
February, being the 7th day of February 1774, ordered: That 
the Town Clerk advertise in the Cape Fear Mercury for the 
proper person to undertake the oflSce of Scavenger of the town, 
and also that the inhabitants have notice to assemble on Wed- 
nesday at Mr. Dekeyser's to consider of the ^address drawn up 
and already signed by the County to their representatives and 
to concur therein: Signed: A. M. McClaine, J. Burgwin, 
John Ancrum, Richard Player. 

At a meeting of the Commissioners at the town of Wilming- 
ton on Tuesday, 14th day of June, 1774. Present: John 
Burgwin, John Ancrum, Archibald McClane and Richard 
Player, Commissioners. Ordered: that a Ducking Stool be 
provided for the use of the town and that the same be paid 
for out of the town tax. 

Note — The record seems not to have been kept in this book 
between Monday, January 2nd, 1775 and January 177h. 

Tuesday, January 6, 1778. 
The Freeholders of the town of Wilmington met and choose 
John DuBois, Phillip Bradley, John Corkwood, Andrew Ron- 
aldson and Henry Toomer Commissioners. 

^ This reference is doubtless to some patriotic resolutions 
signed already by the County, in which it was taken for 

Jambs Sprunt Historical Monograph 81 

g^ranted that the inhabitants of Wilmington would concur, 
and the Board gave them notice to assemble and "concur 
therein." These particular resolutions have not come down 
to us. It is to be regretted that the Town Book is so devoid 
of reference to the great matters of public interest that 
occurred during 'the Stamp Act troubles and in the early 
stages of the Revolution; but this is the only mention of any 
matter outside of the regular course of city administration. 


As giving a glimpse of life in the New Settlement on the 
Cape Fear we make some extracts from **The Letters of a 
Loyalist," being the letters of James Murray, who, a young 
man in London, because of the recent appointment of John- 
ston as Governor of North Carolina, was led in 1735 to seek 
his fortunes on the Cape Fear. He brought over with him a 
varied assortment of merchandise, supposed to be suited to the 
country. This he opened in Charleston, an 1 exposed for sale 
at Brunswick, but he found no demand for ''wigs." 

The next year he located at Newton, where shortly after- 
wards other members of his family joined him; and his sister 
Barbara soon married Thomas Clark, and became the mother 
of Col. Thomas Clark, of the Revolution, and of Anne Clark, 
who became the wife of William Hooper. James Murray 
made several trips to London, and was often absent from the 
Province. He was one of the (lovernor's Council and a man 
of great influence. 

James Murray to William Ellison. 

Brunswick 14 Feby. 1736. 
We saird from Charles town the last day of Deer & came 
over the bar of Cape Fear the 2d of Jan'ry & camped ashore 
all night by a good fire in the woods. Next day we got up to 
this town. I intended to have gone up to New town, alias 
New Liverpool, but was told there, was no house to be had 
except I built one: so was obliged to bring all ashore here, 
where I have got a good convenient house on rent, which I 

82 Thb University Bboord 

shall keep until I can purchase a few slaves and a plantation 
in the country where I can have all kinds of provisions of my 
own raising. Here I am obliged to pay no less than 17 to 20 s. 
p. Bushel this money for corn, and 10, 12 & 14d p. lb for meat. 
I am told this place is every bit as healthy as New town. 
There is a great emulation between the two towns. 

* * But if you send him a fresh supply it must be in 
something else than wigs for I have not been able to sell one 
of them, though I open'd them both in Charles town and here. 

James Murray to David Talligluph, 

Brunswick 31 March 1736. 
Dear Sir 

Since my last of ye 21 ulto. have been up ye northeast 
branch of this river about 180 miles from the mouth of it. 
We found a little difficulty in getting up and down, with our 
canoes, which were deep loaded, by reason of logs lying 
across: but ye river was clear, we had 6 foot water as far. as 
we went and an easy current. 

Newtown Jan 10 1737. 
I can write you nothing entertaining from this, but from 
the number of Irish and Swiss that are soon expected here, 
some of us imagine the prosperity of the country and happi- 
ness of its inhabitants in general to be at hand. (After a 
nine months residence at Brunswick) I bought a house and 
lot in this town where I now live and immediately after pur- 
chased a plantation within fifteen miles of about 500 acres- 
The one cost me ^^1000, the other ;^^500 this currency. 

Brunswick May 3, 1736. 
I was up at Brampton last week, where I saw ye Gov. & 
Capt. Woodard in good health. Ye last has had a gentle fit 
of ye gout since he came from ye North East, but that expe- 
dition was of service to his Excellency's health, & Capt. 
Innes, & I grew fat on it. 

(Note. Gov. Johnston, at first it seems proposed to have a 
palace at Brompton on the north west Branch of the Cape 
Fear. He seems also to have purchased the premises of 
Robt. Hilton near Wilmington.) 

Jambs Sprunt Historioal Monograph 88 

Newton Jan 10 1737. 
Your Swiss families are very well, &c. We are very upish 
upon Capt Woodard, Mr Johnston, Capt Rowan and Capt 
Innes*, each of them, purchasing- a g-ood lot in this town 
which thrives apace. 

*(Note. Capt. Jatnes Innes, after distinguished service 
with North Carolina troops, was appointed by Crov. Dinwiddie 
of Virginia to the chief command of all the forces to oppose 
the French and Indians in 1754. Capt. Rowan, afterwards 
President of the Council, and acting Governor; Governor 
Johnston. ) 

-'*For all my complaints a man with a moderate fortune 

and tolerable management, may live very happily and plenti- 
fully here. I cannot say he has it in his power to make a 
great fortune at once." 

Being in London, Dec. 20, 1738, James Murray wrote to 
John Parker, one of the incorporators of Newton: 

**I have observed in you a justness of thought and gener- 
osity of temper that I would endeavor to imitate wherever I 
found it," &c. 

(Note. John Parker was a son-in-law of Col. Maurice 
Moore, and his daughter, Mary Parker, became the wife of 
Gov. Sam Ashe. The Moores were particularly interested in 
Brunswick, and, when Murray espoused the cause of Newton, 
animosity resulted which doubtless led to the tribute to Parker. 
Murray returned to North Carolina early the next summer bring- 
ing with him John Rutherford, who afterwards played a lead- 
ing part in North Carolina matters.) 

Cape Fear Sept 4 1739. 
We are in hopes this war will drive some of ye southern 
settlements to us. T'is a bad wind that blows nobody good. 

(Note. That Spanish war was an episode in the life of the 
colony. North Carolina raised four companies for General 
Oglethorpe's expedition against St. Augustine. That expe- 
dition having failed, these companies. Captain James Innes 
were sent to Jamaica.) 

84 The UNiVERerrY Rboord 

*'Nov 26. The J have just put to sea with letter of marque, 
and to make the best of their way to Jamaica, where they 
expect to meet the Engflish forces as well as those of 

Wilmington, Cape Fear, 5th September 1741. 
Since I begun this letter 5 days have elapsed in which time 
I have taken my passage and Cousin John's on board the 
Leathly, Peter Harrison Com'r for London. And that we may 
have some money to spend among the Spaniards in case we 
should be nabbed by them. I have b}^ this opportunity 
ordered ;^500 Ster. insurance against capture: ie: 300^^ for 
self and 200;^ for Cousin John. 

Wilmington 11 May 1741. 

In m^ house there is a large room 22 x 16 feet the most airy 
of any in the country, two tolerable lodging rooms & a closet 
upstairs & garrets above. A cellar below divided into a 
kitchen with an oven and a store for liquors, provisions &c. 
this makes one half of any house. The other, placed on the 
east end, is the store cellar below, the store and counting 
house on the first floor & above it is partitioned off into four 
rooms, but this end is side plaistered, but only done with 
rough boards. 

Cape Fear Feb 26, 1755. 

I have about 100 thous'd bricks burnt & am to begin my 
house, if the bricklayer keeps his word, early next month. 

To M}\ Sampson Simpson, Merchant in New Tork, 

Cape Fear Sept 4, 1756. 

If you can meet with a sober, diligent man, with or 
without a family, skilled in tanning and currying, I desire the 
favor of you to engage him for me for three ^^ears, &c. 

* * i am also in need of a good sawyer to tend a saw 
mill, which, when well tended and in a common year, will cut 
about 100 thousnd feet &c. To such a one I would be willing 
to give a tenth part of the lumber sawn. If Mr Franklin 
would send me his Gazette postage free, it should be punc- 
tually paid for & it would also oblige our President who is my 
next neighbor. (President Rowan). 

July 19, 1756. 
I find also by a trial that my overseer, a Swiss, has made, 
both this year and last, that silk may be made here to just 

Jamb6 Sprunt Historical Monograph 86 

advantage. The worms thrive uncommonly, fed with the 
leaves of the wild mulberry. Whether they will be equally 
healthy upon the Italian, 1 shall know, as I intend to plant 
out 2000 trees next year. 

Note by K. P. B. The following* information about some 
of the founders of Wilmington may be interesting: 

Wimble was a mariner. He made a map of the Province. 

Michael in 17S1 gave the lot on the corner of Market and 
Fourth Streets for a church, but as it was not sufficient for 
both edifice and burying ground, the General Assembly 
authorized the use of thirty feet of Market Street for the 
front of the building. It occupied that part of the street 
until 1839. 

During the French and Indian War troops were raised in 
North Carolina that served in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and on 
the lakes in New York, as well as in South Carolina, and the 
western part of North Carolina. Among the officers of these 
troops were Col. Caleb Grainger, mayor of the town in 1765, 
Col. James Innes, Col. Hugh Waddell, Captain Thomas 
McManus, Captain James Moore and Lieutenant Moses John 
DeRosset, afterwards Mayor. 



Matters, even of consequence, have sometimes orig-inated 
more by chance than desig^n. A numl)er of instances mi^ht 
be cited. It was the case relative to Smithvilie though a place 
not yet of <^reat importance. The first movement happened 
as follows: 

About the year 1786 Joshua Potts, the writer hereof, then 
living in Wilmington, was taken sick and by medical attend- 
ance had got better but, notwithstanding, still continued very 
weak and a loss of appetite, etc. So it happened that his old 
friend, Capt. John Brown, who had been master of a packet 
that plied between Wilmington and Charleston, meeting me 
one day, asked me take a sail with liim in an open boat down 
the river, saying that the salt air might recruit me, etc. 

Accordingly, debilitated as I was, I proceeded with him 
down the river Clarendon, or Cape Fear, in an open boat, be- 
ing at the time only able to sit up. Capt. Brown had put on 
board some eatable refreshments, but I had no thought of 
partaking any. We had not proceeded further down than op- 
posite the New Inlet when Capt B. asked ine to eat something. 
I listened to what he said, and discovered an inclination to 
partake of such cold collation as he had set forth. My appe- 
tite returned and in a day or two I felt myself braced up by 
the effects of the salubrious breeze from the sea, although I 
was exposed in camping out, etc., for al that time there were 
only two or three pilots' houses on the bank. I returned to 
Wilmington in a few days perfectly recovered. 

I was at that time single, but in a year or two more became 
a married man and in a summer season determined that my 
family should retire from Wilmington to Fort Johnston and 
there experience the cool and healthy sea breezes. Accord- 
ingly I carried my then small family down to the Fort, and 

James Sprunt Historical Monograph 87 

rented the loft of a pilot bouse (Joe Swain's), where we were 
all stowed away, breathing health and rough pleasure. 

While thus living a fisherman's life, I received a letter from 
John Huske, Esq., of Wilmington, then in low health, on the 
subject of having a town laid off on the level, near Fort Johns- 
ton. Mr. Huske wished to reside there for the sake of his 
health. This letter was dated Wilmington, October 18th, 
1790, and it is herewith enclosed. No. 1. 

Mr. Huske would have called the proposed town Nashtqn 
had an act of the Assembly been passed — concerning which 
intelligence shall hereafter be given. 

Mr. Huske was the first mover of a town near the Fort, and 
I myself was to become the operator. I stepped off the ground 
from the old Fort southward to the first small creek. The 
distance was shorter than what was wished. I accordingly 
wrote Mr. Huske; notwithstanding I was prevailed on to form 
a petition to be circulated through Brunswick county, setting 
forth the prayer of the inhabitants that an act of the Assem- 
bly might be passed for the establishment of such a town. 

The said petition accompanies the report, No. 2, J. Potts 
having written said petition was applied to for it by Charles 
Gause, Esq., a leading inhabitant of Brunswick county, who 
undertook the exhibition of it in order to obtain subscribers' 
names. This was performed and introduced to the General 
Assembly which in that year sat at Fayetteville. 

The whole intention was unexpectedly opposed by Gen. 
Smith who was then a member of and for Brunswick county. 
It was said he supported his negative role on account of two 
or three pilots who had built their houses, by public permis- 
sion promiscuously on said land — as it was, however, he had 
influence sufficient to stop the proceeding in the Assembly, 
and thus ended the prospects of a town at that time. 

Some people in Wilmington and others in Brunswick coun- 
ty, being disappointed in their expectations of a town were 
said to have imputed the opposition of Gen. S. to the cause, 
not of pilots, but that he had not been previously consulted in 
and about the business. 

88 The University Record 

Now, so it was that the old Fort Johnston as well as the 
surroundings lands was the property- of the State of North 
Carolina, and that power alone the petitioners had relied on 
for the g-rant alluded to. 

Capt. John Brown and Joshua Potts determined, however, 
not to abandon the place, and fearless of any molestation pro- 
ceeded to occupy as a tem|)orary residence for Summer and 
Autumn, each a few square feet near the shore, and accord- 
ingly proceeded to have each a cabin formed and framed in 
Wilmington and procured a sufficiency of boards and shingles 
to complete these; employed a pettiauger and put on board 
the frames and '^ther materials of both houses, engaged car- 
penters with their tools and both families of said John and 
Joshua, with plenty of provisions, etc., all together went on 
board the lighter at Wilmington, arrived at Fort Johnston and 
there landed the whole. 

In a few days afterwards we had erectt^d each a summer 
house, in a temporary manner, near the water, between where 
is now Mrs. Wade's and the beach. The said two houses, or 
camps, had not chimneysof any kind, and only rough shutters 
to the windows, (no glass) the whole of the saw mill rough- 
ness, as a plane had not been used about them. Our two 
families were thus coarsely encamped; and instead of a kitch- 
en our cooking fires were made among thick bushes near hand, 
which screened the inconvenience of the w^'nd, hut rain would 
sometimes moisten our cooking and depredating hogs would 
run off with our hot cakes in their mouths. 

In this way our families enjoyed health, cool breezes and a 
coarse way of living several Summers. In the meantime 
Capt. B. and myself became expert fishermen. 

During these rugged scenes there was no town laid off, and 
only a few neighbors, pilots and their families. 

The first twelve months had nearly expired after the failure 
of the bill at Fayetteville and the Creneral Assembly were 
next to sit at Newbern. Who should come in my cabin at the 
Fort but the same old Mr, Charles Gause whose business was 

Jahb6 Sprunt Historical Monograph 89 

to get me to write and renew the petition for the establish- 
ment of said town. I remember reminding- Mr. Gause that 
any such attempt must be of no use as no doubt Gen. Smith 
would oppose it as before. Mr. Gause replied in a positive 
voice that if I would copy off the petition he would advocate 
it as before, and that Gen. S. should not be sent to the Assem- 
bly unless he would use his endeavors to have a suitable act 
passed for the intended purpose. (The election was then pend- 

Conformably to the request of Gause I then wrote off a new 
petition, much after the tenor of the first. 

The venerable old man made his word good. Gen. S. was 
elected, went to Newbern and assisted to get the act passe'd 
and which is herewith enclosed. See No. 3 — passed at New- 
bern, November session, 1792. 

The writer hereof remembers hearing Gen. S. say, when he 
returned from the Assembly, that on his making a motion 
and ofifering the bill for the act Mr. Macon or some other res- 
pectable member made an observation that many applications 
had been acted upon for different towns in the State, but that 
few, if any of them, had succeeded; that the said worthy- 
member said as Gen. S. has applied in behalf of this petty 
town, it should be called Smithville, as if by way of derision 
to the applicant, should the town, (like many others) not suc- 

The next desirable object was to secure my attention and 
services in laying off and beginning the necessary operation 
to form the town; see a letter from Gen. Smith dated Belvi- 
dere, January 29th, 1792, No. 4. 

By reading over the first act of the Assembly, No. 3, it will 
be seen that the town was to consist of one hundred lots, with 
streets and squares; that each subscriber should pay forty 
shillings or four dollars, to the State, for each and every lot 
of half an acre he might determine, but no one person might 
subscribe to more than six lots, that many might have a 

90 Thb Univbrsitt Rboord 

The plan of the town was at leng-th sketched off by Gen 
Smith and J. Potts, and the lots numbered thereon, from No. 
1 to No. 100. Meanwhile all the lots were subscribed for — 

The rest of the manuscript, and also the documents referred 
to, are lost. Mr. Potts was a leading* citizen of Wilming-ton. 



Gen. Joshua G. Swifts extracts from whose memoirs we 
present in this issue, was tor a number of years the distin- 
guished head of the United States Engineer Corps, and gained 
much reputation in the army during the War of 1812. In 
early life he had charge of the defences of the lower Cape 
Fear River, and while stationed here married the daughter of 
Capt. James Walker, a family resident in our annals, and by 
whom he had issue Capt. Alexander Swift, also of the Engin- 
eer Corps, who was a brilliant and accomplished oflScer and 
who died from disease contracted in Mexico during the war 
with that nation, and McRee Swift, now we think a resident 
of New Jersey, and others whose names we cannot recall. 

There were few men in the service more prominent than 
Gen. Swift, and deservedly so, too, from his high character, 
his attainments, and the unbending integrity which marked 
every action of his life, public and private. It is pleasant to 
remember that such a man was so closely connected with 
Wilmington and that many of his family connections are still 
living in the State and are among our most prominent and 
highly esteemed citizens. 

His memoirs, or rather his diary, is valuable and exceed- 
ingly interesting, and his descriptions of social life on the 
lower Cape Fear in the long ago are simply charming. There 
is a quiet dignity in his style that is very attractive, and his 
statements regarding individuals and events are calmly and 
forcibly expressed, and bear upon their face the stamp of 
undoubted truthfulness. 

The following is the official statement of his military 
career: He graduated from the Military Academy at West 
Point in 1802; promoted second Lieutenant Corps of Engin- 
eers in the same year; first Lieutenant in 1805; Captain in 

92 Phe University Record 

1806; Major 1808; Aide-de-i'ami> to Major General Pinckney, 
1812; Colonel and Chief Engineer, 1812; Chief Engineer of 
the Army, under Major General Wilkinson in the Campaign 
of 1813, on the St. Lawrence River; and of the forces for the 
defence of the City and Harbor, 1813 and 1814; brevet Briga- 
dier General, 1814, **for meritorious services*'; Director of 
the Military Academy, 1812-'15, and Superintendent, 1816.'17; 
Inspector of the Academy, 1815-M8; Resigned, 1818; Surveyor 
of U. S. Revenue for port of New York, 1818-'27; Civil Engin- 
eer in the service of the United States for harbor improve- 
ments on the Lakes, 1829-'45. Degree of LL.D. conferred by 
Kenyon College. Residence, (ieneva, N. Y. 

In the sprinjjf of 1803, Cadet William McRee of Wilmington 
returned to West Point with Colonel Williams,* Chief of the 
Engineer Corps, who had been stationed at Wilmington and 

1804. **At the close of the month of April I received orders 
from the War Department to repair to North Carolina and 
examine the harbor of Cape Fear, and to report a plan of 
defence therefor, and also to direct the execution of a contract 
with General Benjamin Smith of Belvidere, to construct a 
battery at the site of old Fort Johnston, in Smithville, of a 
material called *tapia'/' 

**On my route to the South had appointed to visit my former 
chief, Colonel Williams, to learn what had been his views of 
the works needed in the harbor of the Cape Fear. I found 
him at his country seat. Mount Pleasant, near Philadelphia, 
on the Schuylkill, in the month of May. The colonel intro- 
duced me to the family of Mr. Clement Biddle, formerly 
quartermaster-general of Washington's army; the family an 
intellectUiil group living in enviable harmony. And I also 
renewed acquaintance with Colonel Cadwallerr. Colonel Wil- 
liams gave me letters of introduction to Joshua Grainger 
Wright, Esq., General Benjamin Sniitli and Mr. John Lord — 
gentlemen of Wilmington, North Carolina. The remem- 
brance of the disinterested friendship of Colonel Williams 
forms one of the brightest reminiscences of my life." 

* Col. Jonathan Williimis. Lawyer, jiiriit, Congre.ssmaii, author, Super- 
intendent WeBt Point , CJolonel of Enprineers, General of MiUtia. Died 1815. 
T This is probably Oadwallader. 

James Sprunt Historical Monograph 98 

**In prosecutinjr mj journev to North Carolina I had the 
pleasure to accompany General Marshall to Raleig-h, where 
the United States Supreme Court was to hold session. The 
chief justice is sometimes an *absent man\ As an instance, 
he came on this occasion from home in a dark blue silk dress 
without an overcoat. It g-ave me pleasure to take from my 
trunk and lend him a new blue cloth cloak, that my father 
had given me, the stage ride being on a chilly morning. On 
our arrival at High Towers Tavern, near the border of the 
State, the general made a mint julep, the first of those drams 
that I ever saw." 

''Proceeding by the right bank of the Cape Fear River to 
Negro Head Point ferry, opposite Wilmington, I arrived at 
Mrs. Meek's boarding house in that town on the anniversary 
of the battle of Bunker Hill, and on that day reported myself 
by letter to my chief. Major Wadsworth at West Point, using 
the day and 1775 as the figurative date of my letter by way of 
friendly memento. After presenting my letter of introduction 
I took packet for Fort Johnston, and there paid my respects 
to the commandant of the post. Lieutenant John Fergus, an 
uncle of Cadet McRee, and commenced a happy acquaintance 
with the surgeon of the post, John Light foot Griffin, and with 
whom established our quarters at Mrs. Ann McDonald's. 
Here I met also General Benjamin Smith, and to the last of 
the month had conferences with him as to the best mode of 
executing his contract with the war department in the con- 
struction of a battery on the site of the old Fort Johnston, 

Early in July I employed Mr. Wilson Davis, one of the most 
intelligent of the pilots, and with this aid I sounded the 
entrance over the main bar of shifting sand into the harbor of 
Cape Fear, and also the entrance at the new inlet, and then 
viewed the capacity of the anchorage within, together with the 
relative position of the several points of land near the entranc- 
es, of which I made a plot, and uptm which I based my report 
of 26th of July to the Secretary of War. The substance of 
this rei)ort was that the main objects to be secured were those 
that had been set forth by my late chief. Colonel Williams, 
to wit: to cover an anchorage in the harbor and to command 
its entrance by a small enclosed work on Oak Island, and an 
enclosed battery at Federal Point, at the new inlet, and also 
to complete the battery of tapia at the site of old Fort John- 
ston, the last being contracted for by General B. Smith, 

94 Thb University Record 

Pending the decision of the war department upon this report, 
much of the summer was a leisure among agreeable families 
from Wilmington, that passed the warm season in slight 
frame houses at 'The Fort\ as the village of Smithville is 
called. Among these was the family of Captain James 
Walker, to whose daughter Louisa and her cousin Eliza 
Younger, I was introduced at a dinner given to Dr. Griffin 
and myself by Captain Walker. There were the families of 
Mr. John Lord, and of the founder of the place, Mr. John 
Potts, and of General Benjamin Smith, who was to construct 
the public work under a contract, and of Captain Callender, 
the surveyor of the port, who had been an officer of the army 
in the war of the Revolution, etc. General Smith became the 
governor of the State. He owned a large extent of property 
on Cape Fear River, and was of the family of Landgrave 
Thomas Smith, the colonial governor of South Carolina in 
the preceding century. He had become security for the col- 
lector of the port of Wilmington, who was a defaulter to the 
government, and it was to discharge this liability that Gen- 
eral Smith had contracted to build the 'tapia' work at *The 
Fort'. His lady, Mrs. Sarah Dry Smith, was highly accom- 
plished, and was an hospitable friend to Dr. Griffin and 
myself, and one of the finest characters in the country. She 
was the daughter and heiress of Colonel William Dry, the 
former collector in the colonial time, and was also o( the 
king's council. This lady wns also a direct descendant from 
Cromwell's admiral Robert Blako. There whs also residing 
at *The Fort' the family of Benjamin Blaney. A native he 
was of Roxbury, near Boston. Ho had migrated to Carolina 
as a carpenter, and had by industry acquired a competence to 
enable him to dispense aid to the sick and needy and other 
charities, in the performance of which he was an example of 
usefulness and charity, and unostentation. Most of the fam- 
ilies at the fort were Federalists, and though all deplofed the 
event, they were the more sensibly impressed with the uews 
of the death of Alexander Hamilton, who in this month ot 
July had been slain in a duel with Colonel Burr, the account 
of which had been written to me by Colonel Williams. The 
whole Union was in a measure moved to grief by this sad 
event. Colonel Hamilton occupied a large space in the public 
mind. He had been the able leader of Federalism — a class of 
men who may in truth be said to have been actuated by far 
higher motives than those of mere party.'' 

'*In my excursions on the waters of Cape Fear I was aided 

James Sprukt Historical Monograph 96 

by Captain Walker, Dr. Griffin and Mr. Blaney, who as 
sportsmen were familiar with the numerous shoals and chan- 
nels and anchorages thereof, so that the returns were not 
only in game, but also in giving me knowledge of the capacity 
of this harbor, situate as it is on one of the most shallow and 
troublesome coasts to navigators. The anchorage, covered 
from the ocean by Bald Head, or Smith's Island, extending 
from the main bar to the new inlet, and upon which island 
there is a growth of live oak and palmetto, and at>ounding 
with fallow deer. 

**Intimacy with Mr. Walker furnished me with many items 
of the war in Carolina, with which he was familiar, although 
not partaking of the battles, for he had been a moderate 
Tory, adverse to taking arms against the mother country, in 
which his friend and brother-in-law, Louis DeRosset, had 
influenced him. Mr. DeRosset was of the king's council. 
Mr. Walker had been the executor of General James Moor* 
the planner and director (s/V:) of the American force at the 
battle of Moor's Creek, fought by Lillington and Slingsby. 
From the papers of that ofiBcer he had gathered many an 
anecdote of the march of Cornwallis. Mr. Walker had been 
in the regulating war of 1770, and then commanded a com- 
pany in the battle of AUamance, in the western part of the 
state. He was cured of much of his Toryism by the tyrrani- 
cal conduct of Major J. H. Craig, the British commandant at 
Wilmington, afterwards governor-general of Canada. The 
conduct of this man had been oppressive and needlessh* cruel 
to the people of Wilmington, and Captain Walker had been 
able to influence some relief to those who were in arrest, etc. 
He with his brother-in-law, John DuBois, had been appointed 
commissioners to arrange the cartel of prisoners, and to nego- 
tiate for the families who were to leave Wilmington therein 
when Cornwallis marched to Virginia, thus showing the con- 
fidence that both Whig and Tory had reposed in those gentle- 
men. Mr. Walker's family were of the settlers called 
'Retainers', coming from Ireland under the auspices of Colonel 
Sampson, and of his father, Robert Walker. Among the 
families of these 'Retainers' were those of the Holmes, Owens, 
and Kenans, etc, now become independent planters and dis- 
tinguished citizens. The father of Captain Walker, the 

♦ It is disputed whether General Moore planned this battle. The Gen- 
eral Assembly, by resolution, thanked General OasweU. The friends of 
General Lillington claim the honor for him. 

96 Thb University Rkoord 

above Robert, was of the same family with that of the Protes- 
tant hero, the Rev. George Walker of Londonderry, The 
mother of Capt. Walker was Ann, of the family of Montgom- 
ery, of Mount Alexander, in Ireland, and had made a runaway 
match with Robert Walker. Capt. James Walker married 
Magdalen M. DuBois, the daughter of John DuBois and Gab- 
riella DeRosset, his wife." 

**In the month of September, in reply to my report of 26th 
of July, I received orders from the war department to proceed 
with so much of the work therein contemplated as was em- 
braced by General Smith's contract upon the tapia work at 
the site of old Fort Johnston, that had been there constructed 
by the then coloniaKiovernor Johnston from *South Carolina 
Anno 1740. In clearing away the sand I found much of the 
tapia walls then erected finer in their whole length, on a front 
of the ordinary half bastion flanks and curtain of two hun- 
dred and forty feet extent, far superior to our contemplated 
plan for the battery of tapia. 

'*Soon after this the slaves of General Smith commenced 
the burning of lime in pens, called kilns, formed of sapling 
pines formed in squares containing from one thousand to one 
thousand two hundred bushels of oyster shells (alive) collected 
in scows from the shoals in the harbor — there abundant. 
These pens were filled with alternate layers of shells and 
*lightwood' from pitch pine, and thus were burned in about 
one day — very much to the annoyance of the neighborhood by 
the smoke and vapor of burning shellfish, when the wind was 
strong enough to spread the fumes of the kilns. In the suc- 
ceeding month of November I commenced the battery by con- 
structing boxes of the dimensions of the parapet, six feet high 
by seven in thickness, into which boxes was poured the tapia 
composition, consisting of equal i)arts of lime, raw shells and 
sand, and water sufficient to form a species of paste, or batter, 
as the negroes term it.'' 

**At the close of this month of November a large Spanish 
ship called the 'Bilboa' was cast away on Cape Fear in a 
storm. It was alleged by the crew, who were brought by 
pilot Davis to my quarters, that the ship was laden with 
sugar, and that there was much specie in *the run'; that the 
captain and mate had died at sea, and that having no navi- 
gator on board they had put the ship before the wind and run 
her on shore near the Cape. There were twenty-one in this 

* Mistake for North Carolina. 

Jambs Spbunt Historical Monoobaph 97 

crew, a villainous looking^ set of rascals, that I have no doubt 
they were. Lieutenant Fergfus detained them in the block 
house at the fort until the collector sent inspectors to conduct 
the crew to Charleston, where the ship was known to some 
merchant. These men all had more or less of dollars in tbeir 
are woolen sashes tied around their waists. On their arrival 
in Charleston they were detained some time, but no proof 
could be found ag-ainst them, and they went free. The pilots 
and others were for some time after this exploring* the remains 
of the wreck, but there was no valuable found among the 
drift save spars and rigging*." 

**In the previous month of September Alexander Calizance 
Miller was introduced to Mrs. General Smith, Dr. Griffin and 
myself and others by John Bradley, Esquire, of Wilmington. 
Mr. Miller was an accomplished gentleman, especially so in 
music and drawing. He interested us much in his history. 
He stated to us that he had escaped from France in the year 
1797; was a cadet in the family of De la Marche; had been a 
mere boy in the corps of Conde' at the battle of Dusseldorf; 
made his escape to America from Rotterdam by the aid of the 
master of the ship. Captain Miller, whose name he bore, and 
arrived in Philadelphia, where he earned his bread by teach- 
ing the piano and violin and drawing. He is of remarkable 
personal beauty and elegance of manner, and Dr. Griffin and 
myself became very intimate with him.*' (Major Alex. C, 
Miller died in Bladen county. May (13)?, 1831.) 

1805. *'ln January, by order of General Wilkinson, I 
relieved Lieutenant Fergus in the commandof Fort Johnston." 

*'This winter I became engaged to Miss Walker. The 
season ran by charmingly at *The Barn\ Mr. Walker's resi- 
dence in Wilmington, and at Belvidere, the residence of 
General and Mrs. Smith, and at Fort Johnston. This en- 
gagement gave, of course, new prospects of life, and as is 
usual, my wishes gave them many agreeable hues. I had 
stated to Mr. and Mrs. Walker that my chief dependence was 
my profession. Mr. Walker said he could not subdivide his 
property during his life; that he approved of the marriage, 
and should do all he could to promote the interests of his 

**In the month of March Colonel Tathem, of Virginia, 
arrived at the fort, bringing a collection of surveying and 

d8 The University foiooRb 

levelling instruments, and an highly finished sextant to com- 
mence by determining the longitude of the fort. He presented 
himself to me, and described his services in Virginia as a pax- 
tizan officer in the Revolutionary war. His demeanor evinced 
an erratic mind; I, however, promoted his wishes, and he 
commenced to establish the elevation of the block-house 
above the level of tide water, and extended a line of levels 
toward the ponds in Brunswick. At this juncture Captain 
Coles and party arrived to prosecute a survey of the coast of 
North Carolina by order of the United States navy depart- 
ment, and commenced observations to determine the longi- 
tude of the light-house on Bald Head. This operation 
disturbed Colonel Tathem, who *boxed his instruments' and 
departed. Probably the colonel had learned at Washington 
City of the purposes of the navy department, and had come 
to the coast with some vague ambition for precedence of 

*'In April the Secretary of War sent me a modified contract 
that had been proposed to him by General Smith, for his 
more convenient discharge of the bond of Colonel Reed, to 
which my reply was that it would delay the construction of 
the tapia walls, and so it proved, for there was a suspension 
of the collection of shells and lime-burning, and the workmen 
departed with their implements, leaving me to await the 
conclusion of the negotiation between the War Department 
and the contractor." 

**On May 5th, to test the capacity of the channel-way into 
the harbor, I went to sea over the main bar in the Swedish 
ship 'Louisa,* Captain Asmus, loaded with ton timber, and 
drawing eighteen and one-third feet of water; thus establish- 
ing the facts set forth in my report of 26th July in the pre- 
ceding year to the Secretary of War on that subject — return- 
ing to the Port in the revenue cutter that had, at my request, 
accompanied the ship to sea." 

''On 3d June Dr. Griffin, Mr. Miller and myself went to 
Wilmington in the revenue cutter, and on Thursday, 6th 
June, 1805, Miss Walker and myself were married at her 
father's residence, 'The Barn\ by the Hon. John Hill, he 
using the Episcopal service, and was selected by me for that 
office because of his friendly relations to my father — they 
having been classmates at Master Lovel's school in Boston in 
1775. This resort to a magistrate was made in consequence 

Jambs Sprunt Historioal Monooraph 90 

of the low estimate by Mr. Walker of the character of the 
then Rector of St. James, in Wilmington. The bride's attend- 
ants on this occasion were Eliza Younger, Cecilia Osborne, 
and Maria Swann ; mine were Dr. Griffin, Mr. Miller, George 
Burgwin, in lieu of his brother, John Fanning, accidentally 
absent. (Rector referred to was Rev. Dr. Hailing).*' 

*'In the following week Mrs. General Smith gave an enter- 
tainment in honor of the marriage, at the town residence of 
the general. The hilarity of this party was temporarily 
intercepted by a letter and challenge from Captain Maurice 
Moor to General Smith, who called me to his office to arrange 
the affair with the friend of Mr. Moor — Captain Grange. On 
22d of the month Johti Panning Burgwin, Esquire, gave us a 
wedding fete at the Hermitage, in a party of about one hun- 
dred persons, that continued for two days. On that same day 
I received my notice of promotion to the rank of first lieuten- 
ant of engineers, and also advices from Colonel Williams of 
the promotion of my brother officers, and of the appointment 
of several cadets at the Military Academy, and that there was 
some prospect of his return to the corps.'' 

"On the anniversary of the battle of Fort Moultrie, in 
South Carolina, 28th June, the meeting of General Smith and 
Captain Moor took place in South Carolina, not far from the 
sea side, where stands the Boundary House of the two states, 
the line running through the centre of the hall of entrance, 
where was held a parley with some North Carolina officers 
sent in pursuit — our party occupying the south side of the 
line in the hall, and thus beyond their jurisdiction. Captain 
Moor was attended now by his cousin, Major Duncan Moor; 
General Smith by myself and Dr. Andrew Scott, the surgeon 
of both. At the second fire General Smith received his an- 
tagonist's ball in his side and fell. The surgeons, Drs. Scott 
and Griffin, conveyed the general to Smithville by water, 
while I hastened to Belvidere, and in a chair conveyed Mrs. 
Smith in the night to the Fort, through one of those storms 
of lightning and rain that often rage in Carolina summers. 
On this occasion the lightning destroyed two trees, one on 
either side of the road, apparently at one flash, and for a mo- 
ment blinding us; but the anxiety of the wife was superior to 
the alarm, and the lady found her husband quite cheerful at 
the Fort with the ball lodged near the left shoulder blade. 
The party proceeded to Wilmington, where the General recov- 

100 The Univbrsitt Rbcord 

ered after a few week's confinement. Family rancour between 
these cousins was the cause of the duel." 

"The 4th of July was celebrated this year at *The Bam'bv 
Mr. Walker's inviting my friends to a dinner given by him 
for the occasion, and where I formed the acquaintance of Wil- 
liam Gaston, Esquire, of Newbern, and *John Hayward, of 
Raleigh. In the following week, the 8th, the family moved 
to the summer residence at the Fort, and renewed our fishinj^ 
and other sports of the season. On 12th of the month I wa> 
summoned to the death-bed of our surgeon. Dr. GriflBji, at 
Wilmington, where he had been attending the wound of 
General Smith. The doctor died of yellow fever, and in tht 
act of repeating the death scene of Shakespere's Julius 
Caesar. In his lucid moments he pronounced his case mortal, 
and asked to be buried in Mrs. General Smith's flower garden 
at Smithville. * * * In a few days after this mournfui 
scene in Wilmington I was assailed by the same type of fever, 
and by the care of Dr. DeRosset was conveyed to sea air at 
the Fort, but did not regain my health until the following 
September when, by authority of the Secretary of War, I em- 
ployed Dr. R. Everett as surgeon for the port of Fort John- 
ston, and by the same authority a hospital was commenced 
there, which not only served for the garrison but also received 
many a sailor from the European ships that carried the ton 
timber of North Carolina to the dock yards of England." 

**In November moved from my post quarters to the Bay 
Street house of Captain Walker — that had been prepared for 
his family residence at the fort — for my winter quarters. In 
December I received a request from the Secretary of War to 
examine the live oak and other growths on Bald Head Island, 
to ascertain the expense of delivering the timber to the gov- 
ernment by contract. Lieutenant Botts of the revenue cutter 
and myself explorec^ the whole island, east and west of 'Flo- 
ra's Bluff,' and estimated that there were then standing at 
least twenty thousand live oak, sixteen thousand cedar and 
twelve thousand palmetto trees; and we found that the ex- 
pense for furnishing live oak by contract would be one dollar 
per cubic foot delivered on board of a United States vessel in 
Cape Fear River, and reported the same to the Secretary of 
War: palmetto and cedar at half that price." 

1806. '*This winter, at the Fort, we received much com- 
pany from Wilmington and Charleston, S. C, by the packet 

* Should be Haywood. 

Jambs Spbunt Historical Monograph 101 

of Captain McYlhenny, a favorite ship-master of that name. 
'We were sometimes oblig^ed to borrow bedding from my 
friend Benjamin Blaney, and sometimes borrowed sheep- 
skins from the public stores, for the gentlemen's beds, while 
venison and wild turkeys were abundant from the woods in 
the vicinity, and my waiter, Riley» was an expert gatherer of 
oysters from the shoals, and we had an abundance of sweet 
potatoes and corn bread from the plantation." 

"As the spring- approached I began to conclude that the 
tapia contract to build the battery would not be fulfilled; 
indeed I had letters from Washington informing me that 
General Smith had extended his negotiations with the Secre- 
tary of War to the Treasury Department, and to secure the 
*Reed bond* had mortgaged rice lands on the Cape Fear river. 
Thus I was left with but slight duty in my small command of 
troops at the post. I wrote the Secretary of War for such 
leave as would allow me to look after some domestic affairs 
up the river a few miles, that might be done consistently 
with my responsibility as commandant at the fort. The 
request was granted in a three months' leave under the condi- 
tions proposed, and thus I left Sergeant Fowler in charge of 
the troops and public stores, Dr. Everett in charge of the 
hospital, and moved my family to Barnard's Creek, on the 
Cape Fear, four miles below Wilmington, in the month of 
February, 1806. The one-half of this place, including a tract 
of pine land of four thousand acres, Mr. Walker had given 
Mrs. Swift. My object was to essay in planting and milling. 
The plan was commenced by widening and deepening a canal 
from the mill pond to a rice mill, and by constructing a set of 
conduits at the tail of the mill race to run the water used on 
the wheel into the rice field below the mill, extending to the 
margin of the river — for the water-culture of rice. I also 
constructed several of Evan's elevators, and brought the rice 
machine into useful and profitable service." 

**0n 15th May my first child, James Foster, was born at the 
residence of his grandfather Walker, and in walking to see 
the mother and son, from the mills, overheated and injured 
myself. By the middle of June the unhealthy residence at 
the mills had convinced me that rice planting and milling 
were not suitable pursuits for me in that climate. My good 
servant Erickson, a Swede, had died of the fever, and I buried 
him under the live oaks at the margin of the creek. The 

102 Th& Unitbrsity Rboord 

honest man gave me his silver sleeve buttons as a memento of 
his regard. This exposure to ill health caused me to return 
to the fort in May, and to move my family thither the last of 
June, 1806; and with the usual monthly report to the Wax 
Department I sent an application to be sent to any northern 
port that might be deemed proper for me, and was replied to, 
that such should be done as soon as the good of the service 
might indicate a station." 

*'On 14th July Lieutenant William Cox, of the United 
States artillery, arrived at Fort Johnston, to relieve me from 
command, but found me too ill of fever to proceed to make up 
the returns and receipts of and for public property, and so 
continued until 26th of August, at which time a storm swept 
all the craft in the harbor into the marshes, save the revenue 
cutter. On 28th I received the account of the destruction of 
my rice crop, mill dam and floodgates at Barnard's. Prom 
what source I cannot say, but from that day I began to recover 
my health, and by 8th September was able to travel to Wil- 
mington, and, with my family to sojourn at Mr. James W. 
Walker's place at the Sound. On iSth October returned to 
the fort, and took receipts from Lieutenant Cox for all the 
public property at the fort, and transmitted the one part of 
the duplicates to the war department.'- 

"First of November proceeded to Raleigh, and passed a few 
days of my convalescence there in company with the Governor 
of .the State, Evan Alexander, Esq., and the Secretary of 
State, Mr. John Guion. By 10th of the month had arrived at 
my uncle Jonathan Swift's in Alexandria, and on the 13th at 
the War office in Washington, where I received from the 
Secretary my commission as captain of engineers. Had the 
honor to dine with President Jefferson." 

1807. **The holidays and January were passed among my 
acquaintances in and near Wilmington and Fort Johnston, and 
with an association at the head of which was Archibald F. 
McNeill, Esq., the object of which was to raise means to aid 
the poor of Wilmington. The mode was by representing 
some of the plays of Shakespeare and others of the English 
drama. The price of the tickets was a dollar, and a consid- 
erable fund was realized, and Mr. McNeill was esteemed (and 
in reality was) a good Hamlet. Mr. McNeill was an accom- 
plished gentleman of the same family as Dr. Daniel McNeill 
of the Scottish emigrants, after the battle of Culloden, among 

♦Wm. White was Secretary of State. Perhaps Gnion was his looum 
tenens. He was then very old. 

Jahbs Sprunt Historical Moroobafh lOi 

whom was Flora McDonald, the friend of Charles Kdward 'the 
Pretender'. Mr. McNeill's mother was a daughter of Sir 
James Wrig-ht, the colonial Governor of Georgia, and he mar- 
ried Miss Quince, an heiress of Wilmington and cousin of 
Mrs. Swift. Dr. Daniel McNeill is an intimate friend of 
mine. His wife, the beautiful Miss Martha Kingslej, is one 
of the most interesting persons in Wilmington. Among my 
other intimates is our family physician and friend, and cousin 
of Mrs. Swift, Dr. Armand J. DeRosset. He is of an old 
Huguenot family expelled from France. The brothers Louis 
and John had been early settlers in Carolina, and officers of 
the royal government, and steady supporters of the Episcopal 
church. Mr. George Hooper was also a friend of mine. His 
family came from Boston with his brother William, the mem- 
ber of Congress from North Carolina in 1776. Mr. George 
Hooper settled as a merchant in Wilmington and married the 
daughter of the distinguished counsellor, Archibald MacLean* 
and is a gentleman of inborn hospitality and of fine literary 
taste, and writes well and with facility on various subjects. 
The Hon. John Hill, whose family also came from Boston. 
He was among the prosperous rice planters of Cape Fear. 
His brother William was a member of Congress. The family 
of Swann (formerly Jones) of Virginia were among the oldest 
and most respectable families of Wilmington. The ancient 
family of fMoor, descended from Governor James Moor of 
South Carolina, were residing on the banks of the Cape Fear. 
Alfred, recently a judge in the United States Supreme Court, 
and his sons Alfred and Captain Maurice, informed me that 
this family was that of Drogheda in Ireland, and that the. 
rebel, Roger Moor, celebrated as the defender of Irish inde- 
pendence in the century before the last, was of the same 
family. (Major Alexander Duncan Moor, the son of the 
Revolutionary general, James Moor, was of the same family). 
The family of Ashe was also living here. Col. Samuel, an 
accomplished gentleman and son of the governor of that 
name. They had given several officers to the army of the 
Revolution, such as John Baptist and Captain Samuel." 

**My groomsmen, John Fanning (Burgwin) and George Bur- 
gwin, were the sons of an opulent merchant of Wilmington. The 
family came from Bristol in England, where these sons were 
educated. They introduced at their r^sid^nce, th^ H^rmitagej 

^Usnally spelt MoLaine. 
tNow written Moore. 

104 Ths Uniysrsity Record 

the moderti social habits of the English gentry, and which 
the e'lder people of Wilmington said was not an improvement 
upon the days when the Tories (Dr. Robert Tucker, Francis 
G»bham and Colonel John Fanning) had given the gentry of 
Ca^e Fear a sample of English manners, as practiced in New 
York when that was a British garrison in the Revolution. Be 
that as it may, the Hermitage was a delightful visiting place. 
The sister of the Burgwins was a beautiful woman, and had 
also been educated in England, and had married Dr. Cleth- 
erall of South Carolina." 

**I had now been nearly three years a resident of North 
Carolina,* and had experienced the kindness and hospitality of 
many of its good citizens, and become attached to them, and 
had also in a measure become identifiefl with their institu- 
tions; was a master of a few slaves, and had a little experi- 
ence of their ways and knowledge of their condition. The 
relation of master and slave in that part of North Carolina is 
of a kindly character in general on the part of the masters. 
But' with my essays to operate with this class of laborers I 
^^uld not be reconciled to their perpetual retention in a con- 
dition forbidding their mental improvement; and as far as my 
observation extended a sentiment similar to this was enter- 
tained by most of the educated gentlemen. That which 
seemed to me the worst consequence of slavery was its influ- 
ence upon the minds and habits of the white children. The 
natural disposition to rule, that is inherent in the human 
mind, is nourished in the *young master' and mistress. They 
become impatient and domineering, and vent their angry 
passions upon the negro children. These passions grow and 
strengthen with the years of both white and negro child until 
both approach their 'teens'. It is the nature of human qual- 
ities that it should be so with both parties." 

1807. *'In the month of February I received orders from 
Colonel Williams, who was then at the war office in Wash- 
ington, to repair to West Point early in the ensuing April, 
and receive the command of that post from Captain William 
A. Barron." 

**I negotiated a loan at the Bank of Cape Fear for four 
hundred dollars, and received one hundred and fifty dollars 
from the United States, and on 20th March was on board the 
packet Venus, Captain Oliver, with Mrs. Swift's mother and 
niece Margaret as our companions, and, with Mrs. Swift and 
our son James and servant Nancy, proceeded before a fair 

James Sprunt Historical Monograph 105 

wind by the New Inlet to sea, and on 28th arrived at Mrs. 
Tilford's boarding house in Courtlandt street, city of New 
York. The next day gave Mr. (ieorge Gibbs two hundred 
dollars that I had^ received for him from Carleton Walker, 
Esq., of Wilmington, and on (>th of April arrived by a New- 
burg packet at old West Point, and received command of the 
same from Captain Barron, who went to the city. Mrs. 
Swift, mother, and niece took the barge and made a visit to 
her uncle and Aunt DuBois at Newburgh, where I joined 
them in a few days thereafter, and found Mr. DuBois (John) 
an intelligent old gentleman, full of reminiscences* of the 
scenes of the war of 1781 in Carolina, and of the iron rule of 
Major Craig, Governor at Wilmington in those days, and 
familiar with the events of the DeRosset and DuBois families, 
then prominent people in North Carolina. The former he 
described as refugees to Holland after the St. Bartholomew's 
massacre, and the latter as refugees to the colonies after the 
revocation of edict of Nantes." 

**Congress appropriated fifty thousand dollars for the sur- 
vey of the coast, including the publication of Thomas Cole's 
and Jonathan Price's survey of the coast of North Carolina; 
the latter gentleman having published an interesting map of 
the whole of that State, one of the best specimens of maps 
yet published in the Union, fully equal to Mr. Madison's map 
of Virginia, though both have many errors in them." 

1808. **This winter we received the sad account of the sud- 
den illness and death of Mrs. Swift's father. Captain Walker, 
in Wilmington, North Carolina, on 18th January, at the age 
of sixty-six years. He sent me a message through Dr. De- 
Rossett of his hopes that I would approve of his will, I did 
not, however, see the justice by which his son James received 
the greater portion of the estate. This will diminished my 
prospects of settling my family, as was contemplated to be 
done, near Boston, in accordance with arrangements to be 
made under the orders of my oflBcial chief, with whom I was 
exchanging thoughts in reference to his purpose to assign 
me to duty in that quarter." 

180'). *^At the request of J. W. Walker and S. R. Jopelyn 
of Wilmington, N. C., I examined the salt works at Dorches- 
ter, and employed Thomas Mayo of Cape Cod to proceed to 
the Sound, near Wilmington, where he constructed similar 
vats for evaporation. The plan was very successful." 

106 The Univbrsity Rboord 

'*On 6th of November we were at the New Inlet of Cape 
Fear, and landed on Federal Point, the proposed site for a 
work recommended to the War Department in 1804, in my re- 
port made at the time. Thence proceeded to Wilmington and 
found my family in health at **The Sound,'' and remained 
there until 10th November, at which time made a temporary 
residence at Mrs. Swift's mother's, Mrs. Walker, in Wilming- 
ton, preparatory to going to F'ort Johnston. After an ab- 
sence of two-and-a-half-years find North Carolina but little 
changed in aspect of country. The best of North Carolina is 
constituted of warm hearts and an early flowering: spring. 
My intimacy with the people of North Carolina, and some ac- 
quaintance with the interests of the State have grown with 
me, and attached me to both." 

**In December, 1809, the Legislature of North Carolina re- 
ceded the site to Fort Johnston to the United States." 

**On 11th of the month I received orders from the chief en- 
gineer constituting me the engineer for the State coast." 

1810. **In January, previous to my professional excursion 
to the Harbor of Cape Fear, I renewed my social relations 
with increased pleasure at Judge Wright's, Mr. John Lord's, 
the Hills and other families. At one of these re-unions, a 
numerous party, Dr. Caldwell, from the University of Chapel 
Hill, exhibited the declining condition of that college, and 
the whole company joined in a subscription to improve the 
condition of that institution, the alma mater of several of the 
younger persons of the party. 

In the course of this month I visited Fort Johnston with 
Joshua Potts, General Smith and Mr. John Lord, and exam- 
ined the boundaries of the public land at that place, and the 
delapidated condition of the work, and reported on the same 
to the War Department. Lieutenant Robert Roberts was in 
this Board of Examination, and was also the commandant 
of the post. The reply from the department is that no more 
would be done at that post than occasional repairs and the. 
construction of permanent barracks." 

**In P^ebruary atadeer hunt with a party at Major Duncan 
Moore's, in the forks of the north-west and north-east branches 
of Cape Fear River got up some sixteen fine deer. On this 
occasion Major Moore offered me one hundred acres of rice 
land on terms so liberal (if I would settle my family in his 
neighborhood) that I could not accept them without incurring 
too deep an obligation, but the liberality was not forgotten." 

Jambs Sprunt Historical Monograph 107 

**March 18th, in company with many gen*tlemen from Wil- 
mington on a search for the son of our friend, Samuel R. Jo- 
celyn. On the second day the body was found in Holly Shel- 
ter Swamp, he having^ wandered thither in a demented state, 
and was chilled to death lying in some four inches of water. 
His name Samuel, and recently married to a daughter of 
Counsellor Sampson, of the county of that name." 

**In April I accompanied John R. London and others to the 
Sound on an excursion to see its adaptation to salt-making. 
I gave these gentlemen the plan of the works on Cape Cod 
that I had received from Mr. Thayer of that place. No doubt 
the ocean water in this shallow sound, not being freshened 
by rivers, and constantly receiving the tide from the sea, 
must afford a good surface for evaporation." 

**On the 15th of the month I received orders from the War 
Department to construct permanent barracks at Fort John- 
ston, with funds to defray the expenses thereof, and also or- 
ders to relieve Lieutenant Roberts in the command of that 

**During the past season I had attended the Masonic Lodge 
in Wilmington, having been admitted to that fraternity 
while at West Point in the year 1802. Observing an abuse 
of the test for admission, and considering the objects of the 
society, as a secret society, not agreeable to the spirit of our 
political institutions, I ceased to be a member of any Lodge, 
though having do doubt that the conduct of the society had 
ev^r been respectful of law, and with benevolent purposes." 

**April 20th, renewed my official visits to the fort while the 
commandant is preparing his returns to obey the orders of 
the War Department; examined at the workshops the gun 
carriages made on Colonel Burbeck's plans, and condemned 
them They are of pitch pine, but not strong enough to re- 
sist the concussion of a proof charge of powder. I had re- 
ported these facts to the War Department, and also that the 
works at Beaufort, in my command, required seven cannon 
and carriages and a barrack magazine, that would call for an 
expenditure of fifteen thousand dollars." 

**May 1st, received the command of Fort Johnston from 
Lieutenant R. Roberts, and gave him receipts for the public 
stores. The next day, with the collector of the port, examin- 
ed the beach at Bald Head, and the encroachments of the sea 

108 The University Record 

at that place, and advised the placing of fascines confined bj 
piles of thirty feet in length, as a protection against the ac- 
tion of the waves." 

'*Maj 15th, moved my family to the fort, and at house- 
keeping in the *Blaney Place' near the fort. June 1st, depos- 
ited the United States funds in the Bank of Cape Fear, and 
commenced the collection of materials for barracks, etc." 

*'On June 15th, with the commissioners of the town of 
Smithville, marked out the lines of the United States land, 
and set red cedar posts for landmarks." 

**The first armed vessel that came in was the British 
schooner *Eliza,' Captain Bradshaw, who landed his guns at 
the battery." 

**From the great mobility of the sand on the coast the 
storms had produced a variety of changes in the form of a 
large shoal near the entrance of the harbor, called the **Mid- 
dle Ground'. I employed the pilots early, and at several times 
in the month of July to sound out and buoy the Old Island 
channel, and found thereby several changes in the course of 
the channel that had been made since my survev in the year 

**On the 3rd of August, in the presence of the collector of 
the port, Robert Cochran, Esq., and General Smith, the pro- 
prietor of the Island of Bald Head, and others, Mr. S. Spring 
the keeper of the light-house, etc., surveyed and marked with 
a theodolite, ten(10)acres, including the site of the light-house 
and having reference to the abrasion to the shore of the sea, 
as examined last May, I included a wide sea-beach margin on 
Bald Head." 

**August 9th, with a theodolite, above mentioned, received 
from Jones of London, made observations that proved the 
magnetic variation at Fort Johnston at this time to be fifty- 
five minutes from the true meridian.'' 

**The August election of State officers came on this year on 
9th of the month. I gave the troops a fishing excursion to 
Old Island for that day, with a view -o prevent any question 
of 'interference of troops at the polls,' in reference to which, 
as an abuse of the franchise, much had been said, but, as far 
as my experience extended, had never witnessed any such in- 

Jambs Sprunt Historical Monograph 100 

*'Oti 12th August the United States brig 'Nautilus/ Cap- 
tain Arthur Sinclair, came into port in a storm that had 
wrecked an English brig on the 'Middle Ground' shoal." 

**On 25th September accompanied Captain Sinclair to sea 
for the purpose of examining* the *slew' throug'h the Frying 
Pan Shoal, which we found at a distance of thirteen miles 
south of the light. house, a four-fathom channel directly 
throug'h the Pan, bearing cast-by-south. After a cruise of a 
few days the *Nautilus' returned to anchor oflF Fort Johnston, 
and finally resumed the cruise along the coast on 7th- of Oc- 

**During the months of October and November the weather 
was excellent i6v labor, and by 1st December had completed 
the brick barracks and g-uard-house, and discharged the work- 
men. Moved the troops into the new barracks, much to their 

* 'December 12th, by order of the Secretary of War, trans- 
ported the military stores from Wilmington to the block-house 
at the fort. These appurtenances had been in the use of the 
12th United States Regiment of Infantry in 1799, and were 
stored in Wilmington in 1800." 

"Passed our Christmas at the wedding of our fair cousin, 
Mary Vance, with Mr. James Orme, and with my friends 
Alexander C. Miller and General and Mrs. Smith at fielvidere, 
and et General Brown's seat at Ashwood, on the Cape Fear, 
and returned to the fort on the last day of 1810." 

1811. ** January 5th, *the governor of the State and suite 
inspected the post at Fort Johnston, and was received with 
military honors." 

"In February I employed Dr. Egbert Haywood Bell as sur- 
geon of the post, which was confirmed by the Secretary of 
War. The doctor is distinguished in his profession. The 
family of which he is a member are generally noted for tal- 
ents; they reside in the upper country of North Carolina. 
During the winter Mrs. Swift's sister Harriet and husband, 
tColonel Osborne, had been members of our family, and in the 
spring they moved to Salisbury, when Mrs. Swift's mother 
joined our family. Mrs. Osborne .is not only amiable but has 
also an highly cultivated mind, that has contributed much to 
our enjoyment. With Mrs, Osborne we had the pleasure to 
receive as guests the father and daughter, Colonel John De- 

♦ William Hawkins, of Warren. 
t Edwin Jay Osborne. 

no The Univirsity Rboord 

Bernier. They were from Eng-land; and from Edward Jones, 
Esquire, I learned that this gentleman, with bis brother 
Henry, had (both) been lieutenant-colonels in the army of 
Eng^land, and in command in Canada, where they had been 
suddenly relieved from command, and chagfrined by the or- 
der, they had both sold out their commissions, which act was 
soon succeeded by orders gfiving* them both more distingfuish- 
ed commands in India. The mortification resulting' from 
those occurrences may be imagined. In the case of Colonel 
DeB. melancholy was marked on his face. Mr. Jones, who 

fave me this information, is an Irish gentleman, and has 
lied the oflSce of ^attorney-general of North Carolina with 
high repute. The Colonel Osborne before mentioned is the 
son of TAudly Osborne, Esquire, of Iredell County, North 
Carolina, reputed to be a son of the family of Leeds, in Eng- 
land. The colonel is a lawyer of much ability, and who, with 
four of his brothers, had received the first honors of Chapel 
Hill College.'' 

**Duiing the months of February and March flocks of pig- 
eons were daily passing over the fort, with a sound resembling 
a gust of wind. Several of these flocks were more than a mile 
in extent, and vast numbers of them were destroyed. Their 
roost was on Bald Head Islanc^, where they found an abun- 
dance of acorns, and from whence sportsmen brought many 
thousands of these birds.'' 

**On 12th May while at Wilmington dining with George 
Hooper, Esquire, was summoned to the bed of his son-in-law, 
Mr. James Fleming, who had a few moments previous left us 
at table, and had been thrown against the corner of the brick 
market house in town by an unruly horse. Mr. Fleming's 
brains were forced through the ears by the conecssion, and I 
found him breathing with some violence, but he was dead 
within an hour." 

**The 4th July was passed at the seat of General Brown at 
Ashwood, with a purpose to attend the marriage of my friend 
Alexander C. Miller, and the general's daughter. Miss Mary 
Brown. The general asked me of the origin, etc., of Mr. 
Miller; my reply was all that I knew of him had been received 
of him, and to judge from his uniform deportment it left me 
no reason to doubt that he had been highly educated, etc. 

♦ Ool. Jones was Sohcitor-G}eneral. 
t Adlai is the usual spelling. 

James Sprunt Historical MoNOORAPd 111 

Before leaving the fort, Lieut. Roberts and myself had set 
t^ur watches together and arranged to have the salute at the 
fort commenced at noon, and to fire at interval of fifteen 
seconds. I placed myself alone at the margin of the Cape 
Fear River at Ashwood, sixty miles distant from the fort, in 
due season to listen, and heard the sound of the distant can- 
lion, but not at precise intervals. The sound was that of a 

Kuffing continuous sort, and I counted only fourteen of them, 
ly ear was not more than three inches above the surface of 
the water; the day was quiet, and the air from the southwest; 
my position in a direction a little west of north from the fort. 
In the banks of the Cape Fear at this place, some seventy feet 
below the general surface of the country, I found an abun- 
dance of shark's teeth and other organic remains in the earth, 
washed by every successive rise of the river," 

**I returned to the fort on 6th, and on 10th July, having 
received the long expected 24-pounder new cannon, carriages, 
and six hundred round shot, replaced the old guns by mounting 
the battery with ei^ht new ones." 

"The appropriations this year for fortifications are four 
hundred and seven thousand dollars. These and preceding 
preparations may show both France and England that our 
endurance of their decrees and orders may, find a limit. Both 
nations seem, from our own dissensions, or contempt for us 
and for our form of government, to consider our ability or pur- 
J)ose to sustain a war as of small importance to them. Both 
parties in our country greatly mistake their policy; the Demo- 
crats in their evasive palliations of the cause of France; the 
Federalists by their efforts to prove that the decrees and 
orders are equally insulting and therefore deserving equal 
resistance. They lose sight of the hope of England that we 
may make some error to favor their pretensions, agd that her 
superiority on the ocean gives her power to annoy, and they 
lose sight of the fact that if we ever are to assert our rights 
on the seas, we must commence to do it while England is 
practising her arrogant power of impressment." 

**July 11th received at the fort, *Treasurer Haywood and 
other guests from Raleigh, who came to look at the ocean, 
and to be informed of what plan of defense might secure the 
entrance to the most important harbor on the coast of 
North Carolina, in which the Legislature of the State had 
taken a deep interest, and here were several of her prominent 

• State Treasurer, John Haywood. 

tid Tmt Univtcrsity Rbcord 

members to prepare themselves to give that body such an 
account of their observations as they could collect. It was 
ver}' evident that these j^entlemen had no respect for the mod- 
erate use of naval power of Enj^land in case we should have 
a war with them/' 

"In my memorandum of my visit to Ashwood I omitted to 
state that there stands a tree whose bark has been marked, 
indented in the year 17S0, with a tij^ure representing the 
Revolutionary g-eneral Robert Howe. These marks had been 
spread by the growth of the tree, and now exhibits a gigantic 
rude figure of a man in military costume. This is the result 
of a slight engraving on the bark of any tree, especially the 
beech, but if the indentation be deep the growth of the bark 
covers the work and so obliterates the design/' 

** August 1st delivered the command of Fort Johnston to 
Lieutenant Roberts, United States Artillery/' 

1812. ''February 1st, gave orders to Lieutenant Ewing to 
detail a party to work daily in the block-house, cleaning the 
arms, etc., received there in the previous year. This was in 
pursuance of orders receive<l from the War Department, 
together with the appointment of myself as military agent 
for the coast of North Carolina, and was the first intimation 
in orders of haste, of preparation for war!" 

''February 21st, the United States brig 'Vixen\ commanded 
by Lieutenant Charles Gadsden, arrived at Fort Johnston on 
public business with me." 

"In March I received orders from the Secretary of War that 
the state of public affairs required an inspection of the forti- 
fications on the coast of Virginia, the twoCarolinas and Geor- 
gia, and requiring me to make the same as soon as my present 
duty permitted.'' 

"On April 1st proceeded on this inspection in the packet to 
Charleston, South Carolina, ( at the same time escorting the 
daughter of Colonel DeBernier on a visit to her friends in 
South Carolina This lady is the wife of Harper Hooper, 
Esquire, of Wilmington), leaving the command of Fort Johns- 
ton to Lieutenant Ewing/' (Next several pages contain 
account of this inspection war being imminent. ) 

"At the close of the month received letters from mj family- 
informing of the birth of my son Thomas Delano, at the resi- 
dence of his grandmother Walker in Wilmington, 23d Novem- 
ber, 1812." 

Jambs Spbunt Historical MoNoaRAPH 118 

**On 9th December, with Bishop Hobart consulting on the 
subject of inviting the *Rev. Adam Empie to take the chap- 
laincy of the military Academy, the Secretary of War having 
in the previous summer given his consent to offer the appoint- 
ment to Mr. Empie, and having learned that he (Mr. Empie) 
had determined to leave Wilmington, North Carolina, I now 
wrote to Mr. Empie that the Bishop highly approved the 
plan, and that the selection of an Episcopalian had been 
made because, aside from my own views, the service of that 
church was deemed to be the most appropriate to the discip- 
line of a military academy." 

**On May 7th, 1814, Rev. Adam Empie reported for duty at 
the Military Academy. On 20th of May I inducted him to 
his ofl&ce, that of chaplain and professor of ethics, and also 
treasurer of the Academy; a novel junction of functions, but 
rendered needful by want of officers." 

*'In the past two years 1 have endeavored to promote the 
interests of the Military Academy by selecting the intellec- 
tual sons of my most respectable acquaintance, and inviting 
them to apply to the Secretary of War for cadet's warrants. 
Among the number is tWilliara McNeill, the son of my friend 
Dr. Daniel McNeill of Wilmington, N. C; whom meeting on 
my way to West Point, and he on his way to commence theo- 
logical study with Rev. Mr. Wyatt of Newtown, L. I., he 
(William) found my purpose suitable to his propensities, and 
so took him with me to the Point. He has been there now 
several months, and gives evidence of being suited to the 

1815. '*! returned on 3d March to my family in Brooklyn, 
with whom the Rev. Mr. Empie had passed the winter, and 
where Mrs. Swift had received the account of the death of 
her only sister, Harriet, Mrs. Osborne, in North Carolina." 
Winter of 1816, **the Rev. Mr. Empie having returned to his 
former residence in North Carolina." 

♦ Dr. Empie returned to Wilmington and was a leader in reviving the 
Episcopal Church in North Carolina. He was afterwards President of 
William and Mary College and Rector of St. James Church, Richmond, 

t Wm. Gibbs McNeill became Major of Engineers; resigned 1837 and 
was a distinguished civil engineer; Major General of Mihtia of Rhode 


114 The UNiVERfiiTY Record 

1817. **While thus confined (Sept. 20th to Oct. 6th) Gen- 
eral Benjamin Smith of Wilmington, North Carolina, called 
on me, and awaited mj convalescence. Mv brother-in-law, 
Julius H. Walker, beings my amanuensis, I dictated a letter of 
introduction of General Smith to the Secr